History repeating itself: demolition of Calais refugee camps underway 24.10.16


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"An operation to clear the Calais refugee camp has begun, as the first of 60 French government buses left the northern port town, transporting refuges and migrants to accommodation centres elsewhere in the country.


Queues of people dragging their few possessions in donated holdalls had begun forming in the dark pre-dawn outside a warehouse where processing was taking place.

As the gates opened people surged towards the warehouse, with no idea where they were to be transported to, but having been warned they must leave the camp or risk arrest and deportation."

See: France begins operation to clear Calais refugee camp (The Guardian, link)

Those leaving the jungle may face deportation whether they comply with the governments' demands or not:

"A year ago, the French government promised that it would not apply the EU’s Dublin regulations to the Calais migrants, meaning it said it would not expel them back to the first European country they arrived in to submit their claim for asylum. This promise was made to persuade people to start leaving the camp and to claim asylum in France – but it has not been respected and associations close to the CAO [centres d’accueil et d’orienation] have reported a number of examples of people who have been deported or threatened with it."

Meanwhile, it is all too likely that the current "solution" is not a solution at all:

"So will there be another camp like the Jungle? The short answer is yes, almost certainly. As long as the factors that continue to drive people from their homes and prevent them from rebuilding their lives elsewhere continue and as long as EU member states, including the UK, fail to provide safe and legal routes for protection and work, people will make their own way to the countries in which they have friends, family and that they feel offer the best chance to rebuild a life."

See: After the Calais Jungle: is there a long-term solution? Views from France and Britain (The Conversation, link)

For a somewhat less critical view of the situation, see: What next after the Jungle? (BBC News, link)

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