Dreams broken by fear of insecurity and political strategies
28 octubre, 2016
The clearance and demolition of the refugee “Jungle”camp of Calais, on the English Channel, began on Monday 25th and the situation got immediately drastic.
The demolition of the makeshift camp in Calais began on Tuesday. As charities said, the measures were unacceptable while children remained and calls were made for all the children to be registered and taken to safety.
Crews wearing hard hats and orange jumpsuits began tearing down tents, sheds and other temporary buildings as refugees and migrants continued to board buses for relocation centers elsewhere in France.
The workers, who were escorted by scores of French police, used electric saws to take down wooden shelters, and mechanical diggers to remove debris from the sprawling site where an estimated 6,000-8,000 people have been living.
2,318 refugees of which over 400 are minors, passed the registration point of this notorious camp,which has become the symbol of Europe’s failed refugee politics. “As the demolition of the Calais ‘Jungle’ start, the French authorities must ensure that they don’t bulldoze through the rights of refugees and migrants, many of whom are likely to be extremely vulnerable”, said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Director.
The main problem will be for children living in the Camp and being forced to leave it. The clearance operations represent for them an absolutely dangerous menace: the charity Unicef UK said it was unacceptable for demolition to begin while children remained in the camp.
“The children waiting to go into converted shipping containers are still in danger and keeping them safe must be the No 1 priority” said Lily Caprani, the charity’s deputy executive director.
This decision was taken by the French government in order to guarantee safety for businesses and people movements between UK and France, reducing the problem of clandestine migrants trying to get to the British land by hiding themselves in lorries or naval containers.
“Closing the ‘jungle’ migrant camp in Calais will help secure the future of the Le Touquet agreement which allows British officials to check passports in France and vice versa”, British interior minister Amber Rudd said on Monday.
But there’s more below the cover of security: France’s government is determined to keep the evacuation orderly. The Calais “Jungle”, which has been home to an estimated 6,500 people trying to reach Britain, is an eyesore for locals and a source of embarrassment for a country that has taken so far fewer refugees than Germany.
By closing the camp on “humanitarian” grounds, President François Hollande’s government hopes to deal with an issue that was bound to dog his Socialist camp in an upcoming presidential election. The closure of the camp is largely being driven by French domestic politics, and any long-term solution is likely to be dependent on the outcome of next year’s presidential election.