Julie's speech to the March plenary session on the dire humanitarian situation of refugees living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps inside the European Union
Madam President, I wish to draw attention to the dire humanitarian situation of refugees living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps inside the European Union and on our borders. Exposed to the elements, refugees in camps such as the Calais and Dunkirk ‘jungles’ have had their rickety shelters flooded and destroyed and have received limited support to survive the winter. Their plight is in direct contravention of the basic universal norms of human rights and dignity that this European Union was founded upon. In the meantime, women and children in these camps lack the basic facilities they need, including health care, sanitation and education. Whilst we do not help them, unscrupulous traffickers step in.
Instead of a humanitarian response, we have seen police violence and aggression and forced evictions. It is tragic that those who have had to flee the horrors of Daesh in Syria and have had to risk their lives on perilous journeys in search of shelter must now encounter such callous treatment by our fellow Europeans. We, as decision makers, must take the time to see these camps with our own eyes and to speak and to listen to some of the refugees ourselves, as I have done.