Calais migrants: France’s Hollande vows no return to camp

French authorities declared the operation to clear the "Jungle" camp over on MondayImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

French authorities declared the operation to clear the “Jungle” camp over on Monday

No-one will be allowed back in the dismantled “Jungle” camp at Calais now that it has been cleared of thousands of migrants and refugees, says French President Francois Hollande.

The final shelters were destroyed on Monday, after an operation to move some 7,000 people to centres elsewhere in France.

Mr Hollande praised the operation as “dignified but firm and efficient”.

Some 1,500 unaccompanied minors were staying at a temporary centre, he said.

But they would be taken to dedicated reception centres where their cases could be investigated individually by UK officials, he told French newspaper La Voix du Nord.

The sprawling Jungle site had long been a staging post for irregular migrants fleeing war and poverty who were trying to cross the Channel to the UK.



Ferry terminal

Migrant camp

Security fence

CALAIS

Eurotunnel

Migrant camp Oct 2016

Ferry

terminal

Area cleared

in early 2016

Security fence

Camp


Mr Hollande said in under a year 13,000 people who had travelled to Calais had been taken in as refugees in France.

The camp has for years been a source of friction between the French and UK governments. The UK has taken in some 200 children in recent weeks and is expected to take in hundreds more.

“Those who don’t go will be looked after by child welfare services across France,” he said.


More on the Calais ‘Jungle’

Last shelter destroyed

Volunteering in Calais: The impact of the Jungle

What next after the Jungle?


Praising the people of Calais for their handling of the migrant crisis over a long time, the president made clear that the camp would not be returning.

“It’s been cleared, it will be made secure and no-one will be able to go back there,” Mr Hollande added.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Aerial views from August 2016 (top) and 1 November show how the Jungle camp has been cleared

France respected the right to asylum, he insisted, but stressed that border controls had stopped 49,000 people crossing into the country since last November.

While many of the migrants from Calais have been moved to reception centres across the country, numbers have swelled at makeshift camps in Paris too.

Media captionThe BBC’s Hugh Schofield meets migrants from Calais in their new homes

Part of a tent camp was cleared on Monday near Stalingrad metro station in the north-east of the capital. Police have raided the camp some 30 times in the past year.

The government is facing calls to dismantle the Stalingrad camp completely because some 2,000 migrants have been sleeping rough there.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

Calais migrants: France’s Hollande vows no return to camp

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