Calais | The Eviction

March 2016 | There is no agreed-upon figure for the number of people living in “the Jungle”. The Help Refugees charity claimed 5,497 in total, with 3,455 in the southern area set for demolition. French authorities said that there were just 1,156 places available for relocation across the entire country. What would happen to those left without shelter after the clearances? Some set up camp nearby, some would make more urgent attempts to cross the Channel, and some would vanish. Of the estimated 450 unaccompanied children living in the camp, around 120 went missing following these actions, described as “humanitarian” by the local government. [Patrick Ward @pftward]

October 2016 | A new ordinance delivered from the french government announced that the final eviction of the camp was expected to be on the 17th of the month. Humanitarian associations like Save the Children immediately raised concerns regarding the short notice and the lack of protection, especially towards unaccompanied minors. The clearance was then postponed to the 24th in order for aid organizations to carry out a more accurate census and arrange safe transfers to french centers, where minors could start the family reunification process with relatives living in the UK or the asylum request. According to the latest Help Refugees census there were 9,106 people living in the camp, 865 were children and 78% of them were alone. These are the highest numbers recorded since monthly census were executed.

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