This statement was issued by Help Refugees on 26th September:
-Full eviction of Calais camp, including containers and Jules Ferry Centre, expected prior to the 31st October
-President assures the associations an assessment census of the entire camp will be carried out ahead of evictions
-387 children who have been referred to the Home Office for relocation to the UK under Dublin 3 and Alf Dubs amendment should be quickly processed and brought to safety in the UK
-Large backpacks, suitcases, suitcases with wheels and funds needed urgently https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=127188. Email email@example.com if you have physical donations.
A representative from L’Auberge des Migrants, our partner organisation for operations in Calais and Dunkirk, attended the meeting with President Hollande, and Bernard Cazaneuve, the Interior Minister, this morning.
We have completed an initial consultation in regards to the outcomes of this meeting. It is our understanding that the government plans to evict not only the entire unofficial Calais camp, commonly known as the ‘Jungle’ but also the container camp (CAP) and the Jules Ferry Centre (also known as Salam). The Jules Ferry centre offers accommodation for unaccompanied female minors and adult women, many of whom are accompanied by their children in the centre.
The associations present at the meeting were told that there would be an assessment census prior to the eviction, that the complete eviction would be carried out over the course of three days and that this entire process would be complete by 31st October.
It is our understanding that, during the process of the assessment census, the authorities will be recording those who wish to claim asylum in France, those who wish to apply for asylum in other countries as well as those who wish to be deported back to their country of origin. We understand that they will record details of families, unaccompanied minors and other groups considered vulnerable. This assessment census is due to be conducted by the authorities in partnership with an NGO or an organisation able to support this exercise in a balanced and humanitarian way.
We are told that there will be sufficient places available in CAOs (accommodation centres located across France) for all current camp residents who are willing to move to them and that buses will be provided to transport the people and their belongings.
Very limited information has been provided about measures proposed to ensure safe, adapted facilities for the unaccompanied minors currently living in the camp. At the time of our last census the unaccompanied minors represented 10% of the total population of the camp. Ensuring the safety of these vulnerable people is our primary concern.
Safe passage, who we work closely with in Calais, have given a list of 387 children eligible to come to the UK to the Home Office and Amber Rudd. 209 of these were eligible under the Alf Dubs amendment and the rest under Dublin 3 family reunification.
To date no children have been transferred to the UK under the Alf Dubs amendment and no best interest assessment has been carried out by the French or British authorities in an attempt to begin a process to do so. We hope that the British government will act quickly to expedite both Dublin 3 and the Dubs amendment since we are aware that an imminent eviction without adequate provision for these young people could result in a large number of them being unaccounted for.
In the meantime we continue our daily operations in Calais, working closely with the camp residents calmly ensuring they have all the information they need and assuring them of our ongoing support. We, in turn, will need the support of the public to ensure we have sufficient supplies of large backpacks and rolling suitcases so that everyone can leave the camp with all their possessions in a dignified manner. If you can help hosting a collection and bringing these items to Calais please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This eviction is imminent so if you are able to act quickly this will be a great help. If you wish to donate funds to contribute to our teams’ work with residents of the Calais camp at this difficult time please click here https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=127188
RAISE will be collecting as many large rucksacks, day packs, wheeled suitcases and mobile phones as we can during this period and delivering them to Calais as a priority.
We are continuing to collect all other items as normal, as they will still be needed. Please continue donating!