It has been five years since the last Calais “jungle” was dismantled. Since then, the small scattered camps have replaced the large slums. Nonetheless, police operations follow one another to “avoid the creation of new fixing points”. The NGO Human Rights Watch and several associations denounce these dismantling, also asserting that the effects of migrants were “systematically stolen”. Three people are currently on hunger strike to protest against the application of the migration policy in Calaisis. The department prefect will try to calm things down.
When the evictions of squats or camps are triggered, the effects on the place are loaded into trucks and then evacuated to a place supposed to be accessible to their owners to come and collect them. Except that the associations affirm that this “protocol” is a “smokescreen”, the conditions of access to the place of storage being complicated.
The prefect said on Wednesday that a new protocol will be put in place, in particular to “offer a more accessible deposit location” with “more suitable time slots”. He adds that the effects “will be sorted and dried before they are returned to the migrants”.
More frequent, will the dialogue also be more constructive?
More generally, the associations point to a repressive migration policy. The priest and the two associative activists who began a hunger strike on October 11, denounce “a sharp increase in the mistreatment of exiles” and demand an end to dismantling during the winter period. On this subject, the prefect pleads that “the operations of dismantling of camps or squats that we lead […] aims only to fight against the insalubrity of these accommodations and to dismantle the channels of smugglers ”.
The representative of the State claims to be open to dialogue with associations working in Calaisis. He therefore proposes “to activate the frequency of consultation meetings” which will henceforth be organized each month. However, at no time did the prefecture undertake to cease these operations, even during the winter period.