We were really keen to see if there was anything we could do as English lawyers. And Calais seemed to be the place to try to find out.
The first series of It Can Be Done opens with the story of young refugees trapped in informal camps in northern France and reveals how lawyers, activists, and others worked to open safe and legal routes to reunite them with their families in the UK.
Over several episodes, we’ll delve into how the legal strategy developed, we’ll meet the people involved, we’ll learn about the collaborations with charities, doctors and volunteers on the ground, we’ll discuss the law, and we’ll look at the legacy of the work.
In episode one we meet Kotaiba, a 15 year old Syrian refugee who finds himself in Calais looking for a safe way to reach his brother and sister in the UK. Meanwhile, across the channel, two English lawyers Sonal Ghelani and Charlotte Kilroy have just emerged from a long legal battle for refugee rights in the UK, when they realise another injustice is about to erupt on their doorstep. They watch in horror as Europe’s refugee crisis unfolds, asylum seekers and migrants living in makeshift camps with no sanitation or decent shelter, violence at borders, families drowning at sea.
What, if anything, is to be done? And could there potentially be a legal solution?
Interviews, story development and production: Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi.
Production and editing: Simone Lai.
Additional production support and story development: Nija Dalal-Small.
Interpretation: Tarik Arif.
We would like to thank all of the refugees, lawyers, doctors, charities and activists who shared their time in developing and creating this podcast.
It Can Be Done was created and developed by the Migrants’ Law Project, a legal and public legal education project, hosted by Islington Law Centre. www.themigrantslawproject.org Commissioning and development support for series one from Shine A Light and Lacuna magazine.
Images kindly provided by Juliet Kilpin, director of Peaceful Borders.
Theme music taken from the Stone Flowers album, Ngunda, and was kindly provided with permission from Music Action International. Stone Flowers are a refugee torture survivor collective from around the world who meet regularly to write, share and perform songs to raise awareness about human rights abuses and to connect audiences in a positive and uplifting way. The programme is delivered with Music Action International who create life-changing music with people affected by war, torture and persecution. To hear more visit www.musicaction.org.
Thanks to Lara Whyte and Connor Johnston for production advice and support.
Additional music "Starting Over" by Audiobinger, CC BY-NC 4.0.