With French authorities determined to destroy this migrant camp in Calais, migrants face a new future.
French government cleared out the Calais “Jungle” camp this week, but with the problem isn’t close to be solved. After the demolition, some 200 migrants returned on Thursday night to sleep in the area, some of them minors, which has motivated protests in the UK and international outrage. Also, more than 3,000 migrants are living in Paris waiting to get their refugee status while living in unsanitary conditions.
The first attempts of demolition began in February caused riots at the camp. This time, the authorities tried to be more organized and on Monday sorted out 3,000 migrants in buses to be transported to 451 different migration centers across the country.
The main concern for NGO’s like International Organization for Migration is the number of unaccompanied minors in the camp. Speaking with Foreign Policy, Leonard Doyle, a spokesman for IOM, said despite 200 were relocated in the UK last week, “there are many more vulnerable youngsters left to be sorted. “1,300 unaccompanied minors, that’s a really scary number,” he said.
For adults the long road ahead is trying to seek asylum in the EU or in the UK. “The immense majority of migrants present at Calais are eligible for international protection,” the French Interior Ministry said in a statement. Moving out of Calais will allow former residents to “serenely envisage a request for asylum in France.”
Doyle added this is a more organized effort to solve the camp problem and that the government should follow a long term plan that helps relocate people instead of moving them from one place to another. Foreign Policy reports this solution is key because Calais is part of a wider phenomenon.
The ‘Jungle’ is one place but it could pop up anywhere,” concluded Doyle.
Meanwhile, French authorities bowed to international pressure over the treatment of children and agreed to lay buses for more than 100 children still in the area to transfer them to other reception centers, reported The Guardian. Also the UK is expected to take in a few hundred more.
“Jungle” is the nickname given to the refugee and migrant camp in the vicinity of Calais. Many living in the camp attempted to illegally enter the United Kingdom. According to Help Refugees as to July 2016 the camp was populated by 7,307 migrants although it was believed to reach the 10,000 after the Brexit vote. Although the population is a mix of nationalities the majority come from the Horn of Africa and Sudan.