LONDON - Lone children living in the shanty town near Calais are likely to go missing or risk being trafficked when France dismantles the migrant camp, the United Nations said on Monday, urging authorities to speed up the reunion of children with families in Britain.
The UN children's agency, UNICEF, said it was concerned for the safety and future of unaccompanied minors living in the so-called "jungle" camp, on the outskirts of the northern French port town.
"Before the bulldozers arrive, there must be robust plans to safeguard the hundreds of unaccompanied children currently stranded in the camp," said Lily Caprani, UNICEF UK's Deputy Executive Director.
Clashes with police broke out in February when authorities began evicting refugees from the southern part of the camp.
"If mistakes from the first eviction are repeated, we will see more children going missing, falling prey to traffickers and facing the winter without a home," said Caprani in a statement to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Rape, forced labor, beatings and death are just some of the dangers faced by children traveling without their parents, UNICEF says.