Jude Law and his celebrity friends donned their wellies and visited ‘the jungle’ in Calais to make an 11th hour appeal to stop its demolition...
France is intending on demolishing the southern part of Calais’ unofficial refugee camp, with a court ruling today on whether the government can go ahead with these plans.
The renowned refugee camp, dubbed ‘the jungle’, shelters 6000 men, women and children and if its southern side is demolished, more than 3000 people will have to be evicted. According to Help Refugees, the migrant camp is home to 445 children, 315 of whom are fending for themselves without any family members to support or protect them.
Did your parental instincts just kick in? So did Jude Law’s when he heard the news.
The English actor and father of five launched a campaign last week, asking for immediate action to help the migrant children that are travelling alone. In an open letter to David Cameron, he asked the Prime Minister to allow unaccompanied refugee children entrance to the UK, demanding that the destruction be postponed until the children are given proper protection. Among the 100,000 signatures supporting the petition are some famous names, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth and Sir Richard Branson.
On Sunday, just days later and with the camp threatened by imminent eviction, Jude led a group of celebrities to ‘the jungle’ to campaign further for child refugees to be brought to the UK. The British performers including Tom Odell and Tom Stoppard entered the Calais migrant camp to perform Letters Live on the camp’s makeshift theatre to an audience of refugees.
The performance, organised by Help Refugees, was made up of letters (the first by David Cameron), read aloud by the visiting celebrities, with refugees and aid workers following suit and voicing their own thoughts and feelings.
Today will reveal what the future holds for ‘the jungle’. The government’s current plans not only involve demolishing places of worship and key communal centres for women and children, they also plan to uproot thousands of refugees. And although the government is promising to provide an alternative base, it has been made known that the camp (that offers no toilet facilities by the way) is already virtually full to capacity.
When asked about his visit to the camp, Jude explained ‘I wanted to see for myself, it just seemed to me the pressing issue was the kids, who are unaccompanied, and living in awful conditions, it seemed that their plight needed to be highlighted.’
Just when we thought that we couldn’t love Jude Law any more…