Speaking during a conference on the protection of children in war zones in Paris, the Socialist head of state urged Britain to “take its share of responsibility” and offer sanctuary to child refugees with direct family links in the UK currently stranded on the other side of the channel.
“Especially when the fate of thousands of children is at stake.
“The UK must fulfil its promise to grant asylum to children who wish to be reunited with their family in Britain.
“We have offered these children shelter and protection, but they do not want to stay in France, they want to live in the UK in order to be reunited with their loved ones.”
Britain had promised to accept 3,000 migrant children, but later said it would only welcome 350 because cash-strapped councils had run out of space, straining relations between the two neighbours.
Referring to the European Union’s Dublin agreement, which says a nation must take in migrants if they already have family there, Mr Hollande added: “Deals must be respected and the UK cannot shirk its responsibilities towards child refugees any longer.”
France and Britain have been bickering over who should be looking after the thousands of Britain-bound child refugees evacuated from the notorious Jungle migrant camp for months.
In November, less than one month after the shanty town was reduced to ash and rubble, the Home Office was accused of breaking its promise to provide sanctuary to unaccompanied minors after it published new restrictive guidelines.
The rules halted the transfer of thousands of isolated minors with family ties in Britain.