Bereket stands at the fence of the compound where the luckier residents of the Calais “Jungle” live in containers. Behind him, in one of those containers, his fate is being decided.
The Eritrean boy, who says he is 12 and is clearly a child, made the perilous journey to France on his own, crossing the deserts of Sudan and Libya, taking a rickety boat over the Mediterranean to Italy, and then northwards again, with his goal – England – coming ever closer.
His chances of making it across the final 20 miles of sea that separate France from the UK depend on the adults – French charity workers and British Home Office officials – in the white container behind him.
“They took my number,” Bereket told The Sunday Telegraph, displaying a cheap mobile phone, “and said they would call me.”
But because he admitted to immigration officials he has no family connections in the UK, it is far from certain he will be able to leave on one of the buses that for the past week have ferried youngsters from the squalid migrant camp to a new life in Britain.
Representation in the Press:
EU Observer – French begin dismantling Calais migrant camp.
The Guardian – Q&A: what happens now to the Calais refugees?
Migrants’ Rights Network – The Calais Jungle – a beacon for the fight against refugee injustice.