Friday

2nd Dec 2016

French begin dismantling Calais migrant camp

The French authorities, helped by more than 3,000 police, have begun to dismantle a massive migrant camp near the northern French port of Calais.

There were some clashes on Sunday (23 October), with dozens of people throwing rocks at police officers, who replied by shooting tear gas.

But on Monday morning, many of the camp’s estimated 7,000 inhabitants calmly queued at reception points.

They were convinced by French authorities to give up on attempts to get to the UK, and agreed to be taken to refugee centres all around France where their asylum requests will be examined.

Some 2,400 people are due to leave the camp on Monday in 60 buses. The camp's population will be gone in three days if the clearance goes as planned.

Bulldozing will start on Tuesday.

The only ones who can stay in Calais are children. Earlier this month, charity organisation France Terre d’Asile found that there could be as many as 1,291 children in the camp, most of them unaccompanied and wishing to go to the UK.

They will be lodged in a makeshift reception centre for the next two weeks.

French authorities say they want British counterparts to commit to taking all children with links to the UK.

Britain has a legal duty to do so under the Dublin regulation, and the camp’s flattening puts pressure on Britain’s Home Office to meet its legal duties.

Last week, more than 200 children left Calais to reunite with their families in Britain.

Just as many could follow in the next few days.

Earlier this year, the UK also committed to taking a number of lone migrant children. The first 54 children to benefit were taken across the Channel on Sunday.

The remaining children will apply for asylum in France.

Calais, a port town located close to the Eurotunnel, has seen various migrant camps develop and being flattened by the authorities since a first reception facility was set up in 1999.

The number of migrants trying to get to the UK has increased steadily in the last months. Their presence has become increasingly contested by France's right-wing politicians, who have demanded that the camp is moved to the UK.

French president Francois Hollande vowed to close the camp in September, saying it was a humanitarian emergency.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  2. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  3. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  4. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  5. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  6. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  7. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  8. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  9. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  10. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  11. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security
  12. ACCAThe Future of Audit Means Adaption to Today’s Global and Digital World