Representatives of the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC) found serious flaws in legal procedure and child protection during the demolition of the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais.

The BHRC chairwoman, Kirsty Brimelow QC, and Jelia Sane, a barrister from Doughty Street Chambers, went to Calais as legal observers to monitor the situation after the French authorities began to disperse the estimated 10,000 residents of the camp.

Days after the clearance began, it was reported that at least 1,500 unaccompanied minors remained in Calais, many sleeping rough because the special container camp for the young or vulnerable was full.

The BHRC said the dispersal process was ‘unfair, opaque and an affront to human dignity’ and reported breaches of child rights law by the UK and French governments, who blamed each other for the delays.

Brimelow said: ‘It was entirely predictable that demolishing the camp prior to accommodating the children within it would lead to children sleeping rough in cold conditions, vulnerable to further abuse and exploitation.’

She said the system was hampered by a lack of information given to those in the camp and ‘fundamental disregard for due process of appeals’ compounded by the refusal to allow lawyers to enter and provide advice.

The BHRC will publish a full report on the situation shortly.