Calais refugee camp attacked by police for third day in a row

The Canary

French police have cleared a Calais refugee camp for the third time in as many days.

Officers – some who appeared to be armed with tear gas guns – cordoned off the road by an area of wasteland and woodland on the outskirts of the port town on Friday morning, telling those camping there to leave and move their tents.

Many people walked off, carrying their remaining belongings in bin bags while officials were seen throwing rubbish and possessions including tents into a large skip.

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Police clear a migrant camp near Calais
Police clear a migrant camp near Calais (Steve Parsons/PA)

Charities condemned the repeated upheaval and displacement of the refugees and called for governments to provide them help and support in order to find permanent accommodation and work.

Care4Calais accused the police of relentless intimidation tactics in a bid to move on refugees.

The latest clearance comes after aid workers claimed there is a “direct correlation” between a spike in the number of migrants trying to cross the Channel and large-scale evictions of camps in France.

The dire living conditions and heightened security are also playing a part in prompting more people to risk their lives by taking to small boats in a bid to reach the UK coast, according to Help Refugees.

The comments from the charity, which provides humanitarian aid and advocacy for refugees, came amid the wave of camp clearances and a looming eviction of a Dunkirk gym – currently thought to be housing more than 70 families, many of whom have young children – after a court order was issued.

It is expected to be cleared in the coming days after being postponed from Thursday.

Earlier this year the United Nations called on France to act on the conditions of refugees sleeping rough in Calais and to stop systematically evicting people from tents which it said was in violation of their human rights.

French police clear a migrant camp
Migrants at a camp in France are seeking to get to the UK (Steve Parsons/PA)

Care4Calais called on the UK Government to provide “safe legal routes” for people by setting up a centre in France so asylum applications can be submitted and processed before they enter the country.

The charity thinks this would put a stop to the rise of Channel crossings as the paperwork is already being processed and so would stop smugglers in their tracks as fewer people would turn to them for help.

 

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