The notorious makeshift migrant camp in the French Channel port of Calais, which NGOs estimate houses between 8,000 and 10,000 people, including 1,300 minors without parents, is to be evacuated and razed in the coming weeks. But 11 humanitarian associations involved in providing assistance for the migrants living in a shantytown of huts and tents known as “the Jungle”, many of which initially supported the move, have now applied for a court order to halt the operation, arguing that it is “a violation of the fundamental rights of the exiled”. Carine Fouteau hears from the head of one of the most active NGOs, L’Auberge des Migrants, why it has now come out against the evacuation and his fears over the consequences.
During a visit to a refugee reception centre in Tours, west-central France, President François Hollande said that about 9,000 migrants living rough in the Channel port would soon be dispersed to similar centres around the country.
In its latest attempt to reduce the enduring migrant crisis in the Channel port of Calais, where thousands of people live in insalubrious conditions while hoping to find a passage to Britain, the authrities have built an austere residential camp made out of converted shipping containers. Just several kilometres along the coast, near Dunkirk, where a similar crisis is developing, the Doctors Without Borders NGO has built, in cooperation with the local mayor, an unofficial camp of wooden huts that could not be more different, where it says the aim was to make migrants “feel at home”. But the concept is clearly not shared by the government. Carine Fouteau reports.