Calais Migrants in Camp called ‘The Jungle’

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It is estimated that more than 3000 Syrian refugees and migrants have taken decided to stay in the French port of Calais because they are hoping to find their way, legally or illegally, to England. They have heard stories in Syria about all the things they can get in England that they believe they cannot get in other European countries or in France, such as free housing, jobs, clothing, schooling and medical care. They are not willing to wait to be processed properly. Most of the refugees are sheltering in make-shift tents and cardboard shelters. The French police have been dismantling some of the temporary shelters in this area, known locally as The Jungle. In retaliation and as a form of resistance, many of the refugees have threatened to kill themselves, arranged sit-ins, and staged hunger strikes. Fires have been set in protest of the orders to move. There have been instances of trucks destined for England being hijacked.

Authorities have had countless reports of rapes, both of girls and teenage boys and know that gangs of hoodlums are terrorizing the “residents” of the Jungle. Difference humanitarian groups are working with the French authorities to move the refugees to safer places around France but they are meeting fierce resistance. Fabienne Buccio, prefect of the Pas-de-Calais region, stated that the Jungle will be dismantled regardless of the protests and it will be done peacefully and humanely. Social workers are accompanying buses to explain the new locations to the migrants and to encourage them to leave peaceably.

 

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