Keyword: migrants

France and Italy clash over migrant blockade

Italy has accused France of 'hypocrisy' after French President Emmanuel Macron blasted Rome for 'cynicism and irresponsibility' in disallowing a humanitrian organisation's ship from disembarking at an Italian port the more than 600 migrants it has rescued at sea.

Pensioner goes on trial in France for helping migrants

Martine Landy is charged with aiding two underage Africans to illegally enter France, in latest case involving activists assisting migrants.

Border policing practices slammed after drowning of Nigerian woman in French Alps

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A photo of Blessing Matthew taken several years ago in Nigeria. © MM A photo of Blessing Matthew taken several years ago in Nigeria. © MM

Earlier this month the body of a 20-year-old Nigerian woman was found floating in the river Durance, in the foothills of the French Alps. Blessing Matthew had crossed illegally into France from Italy along a treacherous route of mountain passes increasingly used by desperate migrants. From witness accounts, it appears likely that Blessing drowned in the icy waters of the Durance while attempting to escape from one of the frequent border patrols which local migrant support groups say employ dangerously heavy-handed methods. One week later, the body of a man believed to be a migrant was found on a nearby mountainside. Mathilde Mathieu reports from the Alpine region where it is feared the springtime thaw may reveal yet more fatalities.

Paris mayor calls for Macron to act over 'inhuman' migrant camps

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has demanded that President Emmanuel Macron take action to provide alternative shelter for thousands of migrants who are sleeping rough in squalid conditions in the north of the capital, a situation which France's citizens’ rights ombudsman, Jacques Toubon, has denounced as a denial of fundamental human rights. 

Why French border incursion left Italy fuming

Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into incident when French customs officers turned up at Italian town to confront a migrant.

Migrants tell of dangers and threats sleeping rough in Paris

A study by London-based human rights charity Refugee Rights Europe questioned almost 300 migrants about their conditions living rough on the streets of the French capital, with many respondents complaining of a climate of fear amid physical attacks, racial abuse and sexual assault.

'We want to work': refugees tell France why UK is so attractive

New arrivals in France lack rights and help in navigating minefield of bureaucracy, French MPs have been told.

The deadly roads into Calais

By Elisa Perrigueur
A sketch of a ferry terminal at Calais. © Elisa Perrigueur A sketch of a ferry terminal at Calais. © Elisa Perrigueur

Since 1999, an estimated 170 migrants desperately seeking a clandestine passage across the Channel to Britain have died in road accidents in and around the port of Calais in northern France, 37 of them since 2015. One former police officer said the situation became so grim “it was humanly impossible to pick up more bodies from the road”. One of the most recent victims was a 22-year-old Eritrean whose mutilated body was found on a motorway last month after he was run over by a truck whose driver fled the scene. Elisa Perrigueur reports from Calais, where she met with Biniam's relatives as they prepared the return of his body home to north-east Africa.

How Calais migrant crisis has worsened since Macron's visit

By Elisa Perrigueur
Migrants living rough in Calais, February 2nd, 2018. © Elisa Perrigueur Migrants living rough in Calais, February 2nd, 2018. © Elisa Perrigueur

A recent battle between groups of migrants in Calais left 21 people injured, including five with gunshot wounds. Four were left in a critical condition. Local voluntary groups on the ground say that the situation in the Channel port town has got worse in recent weeks, notably after a visit by President Emmanuel Macron and because of a policy of not allowing any new migrant camps to spring up. Elisa Perrigueur reports from Calais.

More police sent to Calais after migrant gunfight

Interior minister Gérard Collomb told reporters in Calais that he blamed 'totally organized' gangs for the fight that left 22 injured, some seriously.

Four migrants in critical condition after Calais brawl

Casualties were shot during fight involving Afghans and Eritreans who had been queueing for food handouts.

England seemed so close for refugee boy crushed to death in Calais

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.

France clampdown on migrants as Macron fails on homeless target

French President Emmanuel Macron said in July he wanted emergency shelters 'everywhere' for homeless migrants by the year's end, but while failing that target, with thousands continuing to sleep rough in cities and woodlands, the government is now focussing on tougher measures to expel migrants and also to prevent them entering the country from Africa.

France to take in sub-Saharan migrants freed from Libyan camps

In the wake of footage of sub-Saharan migrants captured in Libya being sold as slaves, France has pledged to offer asylum to 25 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese, including 15 women and four children, who were taken to Niger under UN protection from detention in the North African country. 

The hidden tragedy of migrants crossing north through Africa

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French medics treating a migrant who survived kidnapping in Libya © Aurélien Sigwalt French medics treating a migrant who survived kidnapping in Libya © Aurélien Sigwalt

Behind the fate of thousands of migrants who have died while attempting to cross by sea to Europe lies the even greater tragedy of those who perish on the overland journey through Africa to reach the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, according to estimates of UN agency the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Those who survive the trying conditions of the clandestine routes north from sub-Saharan countries face further danger in Libya, where many are herded into detention centres amid appalling conditions, while others fall victim to kidnappers. Carine Fouteau reports.