UK

Calais death: Relatives of killed boy, 14, tell of his last moments

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionRaheemullah Oryakhel's family speak of their pain

Relatives of an Afghan boy who died in Calais while trying to enter the UK have told the BBC of his last moments.

Raheemullah Oryakhel, 14, is believed to have been struck and killed by a car after falling off a lorry in Calais.

The news comes as the UK's anti-slavery commissioner called on the government to do more to identify migrant children in Calais entitled to come to Britain.

Kevin Hyland said it was unacceptable that unaccompanied children "risked their lives daily" to reach Britain.

Mr Hyland said migrants had very little confidence in the official system for reuniting them with their families in the UK.

In a letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Mr Hyland said it was "absolutely unacceptable" that children continue to put themselves in the hands of people traffickers and "risked their lives daily" to reach Britain.

He said the government should increase its resources "for a sustained period" to quickly and proactively identify eligible children, so that they can be given the protection they are entitled to.

Image caption Relatives of Raheemullah said they saw his body in hospital

Raheemullah, who was from Afghanistan, is believed to have been killed over the weekend.

His cousin, also from Afghanistan, said he had spoken to him shortly before he died.

"He said 'Well cousin, you know I'm going - do you want to go now?'," the cousin said.

"I said 'No, I can't go - it's too late,' but he said he wanted to go now.

"I said 'Ok, but I don't want to go'."

"On Saturday we'd been to hospital, so we saw his dead body."

Another relative from Birmingham, Abdul Walli, added: "His mum and dad, to save [his son's] life, send him to other countries, but they don't know they will receive his dead body back to Afghanistan. It's very sad."

Image caption Abdul Walli said Raheemullah's parents had sent him to "other countries" to "save his life"

Laura Griffiths, a senior field manager at Safe Passage, which helps bring together child refugees in Calais and their families in the UK, said Raheemullah had a legal right to join his brother in Manchester.

Under EU-wide regulation, asylum claims must be made in the first safe country a person reaches, but children can have their claim transferred to another country if they have family members living there.

The Dubs Amendment to the Immigration Act, originally put forward by Lord Dubs, requires the government to arrange for the transfer to the UK and support of unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.

Ms Griffiths said the charity estimated there were about 1,000 unaccompanied children living in the Calais migrant camp known as the Jungle, with 400 of them having been identified as having a legal right to be brought to the UK safely and legally.

She said: "No more children should die trying to reach their family in the UK - they have a legal right to be there.

"The British and French governments have a moral and legal responsibility to bring these children as quickly and safely as possible to their families."

The Home Office said that more than 120 cases of unaccompanied children in Europe had been accepted for transfer to the UK this year because they had relatives here, and insisted that it had made "significant progress" in speeding up the process.

Meanwhile, construction work has begun on a UK-funded wall near the Jungle migrant camp.

Dubbed the "Great Wall of Calais" by some media, it is an attempt to prevent migrants from trying to stow away on trucks heading for Britain.

More on this story