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.
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.
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.
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.
A report published this week by UN bodies UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration highlights the shocking treatment meted out to child migrants along their journeys to Europe. The most at risk are those from sub-Saharan countries travelling north to the Mediterranean through Libya, where they are exposed to sexual exploitation and forced labour, and who are especially targeted, the study finds, because of racism. Carine Fouteau reports.
Local officers said migrants took advantage of bottleneck to board trucks after British restricted traffic entering port, despite French warnings.
Hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya in Paris, President Macron said it was time for greater coordination.
Last week a court in Nice handed down a suspended prison sentence to a farmer convicted of helping the illegal entry of three Eritrean migrants into France. Meanwhile, the Italian authorities this month adopted a hostile approach to NGOs operating missions to rescue migrants from perilous conditions in the Mediterranean, accusing them of aiding illegal immigration. In this op-ed article, Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel denounces what he says is an outrageous criminalisation of fundamental acts of humanity, which illustrates both moral bankruptcy and a gross ignorance of the reality behind the migrant crisis.
French NGO Doctors Without Borders has announced it is suspending its boat's operations to search and rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in hazardous conditions after what it said was 'threatening behaviour' by Libyan coatsguards.
Police play cat and mouse with hundreds of migrants stuck in Italian border town of Ventimiglia who are desperate to get to northern Europe.
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.
Migrant rights groups are taking legal action after discovering that migrants are being secretly detained overnight in prefabricated huts in the French town of Menton on the border with Italy. The groups say the the French authorities' treatment of the refugees, many of whom are from Sudan and Eritrea and who include some children, is illegal. Carine Fouteau reports.
President made joke about small boats often used by migrants to sail from Comoros islands to France's Mayotte, with many dying en route.
Many Syrian refugees living in Turkey have gone to the French Consulate in Istanbul in the hope of obtaining a visa that will allow them to travel to France in safety. But only a small number ever get granted this precious document. Mediapart's Carine Fouteau tells the story of one Kurdish family from Syria who were twice forced to flee the fighting and who are now desperately waiting for a visa from the French authorities that would restore hope to their shattered lives.
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.