French fishermen mounted a blockade of the ports of Calais and Boulogne, both major hubs for cross-Channel transport, in protest at the use, notably by Dutch fishing fleets, of electric stunning of fish, known as pulse fishing, which they complain is rapidly depleting stocks and which the European Parliament has voted to outlaw.
Abdullah Dilsouz, a 15-year-old Afghan who had a legal right to enter the UK under family reunification legislation, was one of three asylum-seekers to be killed over recent weeks on the roads around the French port, as NGOs say migrants are taking increasing risks to cross the Channel amid worsening living conditions.
French President Emmanuel Macron, visiting the Channel port of Calais on Tuesday, insisted that migrants seeking to cross to Britain would be prevented from regrouping in camps akin to the infamous 'Jungle', once home to 7,000 people, which was demolished in 2016.
French presidency says that 'ways to improve the handling of migrants on the common border in Calais' will be discussed at the bilateral in UK.
Incident happened with more than 200 passengers on board during stormy weather but there are no injuries, the Pas-de-Calais prefecture says.
After the mass displacement last year of thousands from the notorious makeshift 'jungle' camp near the French Channel port of Calais, where for years migrants gathered while hoping for a clandestine passage to the UK, smaller numbers have begun returning to the zone where people-smuggling gangs are again closing in.
Anti-human trafficking ONGs have raised the alarm over a camp in northern France known as Vietnam City where, hidden in woodland on the site of an old coalmine, they say up to 100 Vietnamese migrants, some of them minors, are housed in poor conditions awaiting passage to the UK to work illegally in cannabis farms, nail bars and restaurants.
Local officers said migrants took advantage of bottleneck to board trucks after British restricted traffic entering port, despite French warnings.
French interior minister rules out new migrant reception centre and says he will deploy extra riot police to contain new influx of people in port.
Interior minister Gérard Collomb said returning border to England would be 'complex' but Paris wants more 'favourable conditions' over costs.
A migrant camp close to the Channel port of Dunkirk, in north-east France, which housed about 1,500 people in wooden sheltered accommodation, was razed to the ground in a huge blaze on Monday that was started during fighting between groups of Iraqi Kurds and Afghans. The events have further fuelled anti-immigrant rhetoric from candidates campaigning in the French presidential elections, and placed in question the outgoing socialist government’s already reluctant support for the site. But, as Carine Fouteau reports, the local mayor behind the creation of the camp, which opened only last year, has pledged to rebuild it.
Despite his much-vaunted election promises, President François Hollande’s commitment to end the detention of child refugees and migrants has failed to materialise. In mainland France, 460 minors were detained between 2012-2016 and in the overseas département of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean, some 20,000 were locked up. The Léonarda scandal – when a Kosovan child on a school trip in France was arrested pending deportation – is just one example of the hardships faced by immigrant minors under the current presidency. Carine Fouteau reports.
In an operation beginning with French-language courses, the 80 former inhabitants of the now-demolished squalid Channel port migrant camp were required to have already been students in their home countries and to demonstrate interest in the university courses on offer.
As winter bites in the French capital, three humanitarian associations allege the police have been harassing migrants on the streets of Paris and in some cases tear-gassing them as they queue at the refugee centre. And following the destruction of the so-called Jungle migrant camp in Calais, a local association says remaining migrants there are also suffering harassment. Carine Fouteau interviewed Corinne Torre of Médecins Sans Frontières to find out more.
A spokesman for the conservative frontrunner candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, Alain Juppé, has said the UK border post in Calais will, if he becomes president, be closed as an 'uncomfortable consequence' of Brexit.