A government plan to evacuate and partially demolish part of the Calais camp, used as transitory home by migrants and refuges trying to reach England, has been approved by a French court in Lille. Social areas such as places of worship or schools are excluded.
A deadline for around 1,000 migrants to leave the southern part of the camp expired on Tuesday. The court ruled that the eviction plan was legal.
The judge ignored the appeals of activists, NGOs a and charities that demanded the court to stop the evacuation. Indeed, a group of charities, including Help Refugees and L’Auberge de Migrants, had filed an appeal to a tribunal requesting it to halt the planned evacuation and demolition until appropriate alternatives had been found for its residents, particularly unaccompanied minors.
That appeal was fatally dashed. To add drama to this tragic outcome, French authorities made clear they will use force if necessary to move the refugee and migrants to alternative places.
«Almost 400 children are alone and living in a no-man’s land of filth, fear and danger, many having fled war zones. And they’re living just 100 miles from London, in the Calais» wrote Save the Children. «Many children in the camp have a legal right to asylum in the UK. The government should honour its legal obligations and allow unaccompanied children with family in the UK to be loved and cared for by their relatives here. Children with no family in the UK should be supported to claim asylum in France. But the camp could be bulldozed before it’s clear that France is prepared to cope with the number of children it will displace.Bulldozing and eviction will force extremely vulnerable children to move to camps with even worse conditions and lose their support network. The number of children risking their lives trying to reach the UK will surely increase».
Cover photo: Getty/ PHILIPPE HUGUEN