Cabinet to hear €11.5m needed to relocate 40 Calais minors

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to outline implications of Dáil commitment

 

Relocating 40 unaccompanied minors from a former Calais migrant camp in France will cost the Exchequer €11.5 million in the first year, the Cabinet will hear Tuesday.

In the face of concerns that this will impact on other services, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone is insisting concrete plans be put in place prior to their arrival or there is a risk of the children absconding to another jurisdiction or being trafficked.

Ireland has a humanitarian record that is second to none, and we have a duty to these children who are vulnerable and open to exploitation.”

Ms Zappone will today formally request Government approval to relocate a total of 200 children from the now-closed French camp, in line with a motion passed in the Dáil last year.

It is proposed an initial 40 minors, mostly aged 16 or 17, will be relocated in Ireland this year at a cost of between €9.5 million and €11.5 million to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

The Cabinet will be informed no budgetary provision has been made for such a decision, and will be told other services may be affected.

Interventions

Other areas including health, dental care, mental health services and other specialist supports may require additional funding.

It is understood that while Minister for Finance Michael Noonan will insist the Government is committed to accepting the children, he will warn the money must be found from within existing allocations.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton will also warn of additional costs to address the educational needs of the children.