The Other Side

Singer Lily Allen visits Calais jungle discovering the harsh reality of life for refugees

Singer Lily Allen

Superstar Lily Allen visited a refugee camp in Calais where emotions got the better of her witnessing the life of child migrants in the area. The camp, known as the ‘Calais Jungle’ contains 10,000 migrants hailing from Afghanistan, Syria and Eritrea.

In a tearful interview with the BBC Allen states, “I hope my visit will shine a light on the situation, humanise the people that are there. At the moment what I read is all these articles that are very dehumanising, about people… and about children.”

Allen also claimed she socialises with millionaires frequently and wants them to reach into their pockets to help refugees.

Reports state that between 600 and 900 children are unaccompanied in the camp which alarmed Allen. Charities however put the figure at 1,000.

“I’m a mother and I’ve got two little girls. If something happened in this country and they were displaced and had to run for it, I hope other parts of the world were a little bit more helpful.” Allen said.

“The only thing I can think of that prevents us from acting is self-preservation. People are scared of our government having to provide funds to look after these other people and how that will affect us.”

Allen took part in volunteering activities for the camp, she unloaded items for the camp including jackets, shoes, jumpers and even a Snow White costume.

The camp however will be closed by French President Francois Hollande in a few weeks with migrants being moved to reception centres across France.

Allen speaks to a 13-year-old Afghani boy who is desperate to leave the camp, she told him “at three points in your life [the UK] has put you in danger. We bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban, and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country.”

Breaking out in tears Allen says, “I apologise on behalf of my country, for what we’ve put you through.”

The closure of the camp is feared to put migrants at risk of trafficking or being displaced in the system.


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