Calais Jungle camp: 2,000 refugees living in makeshift shelters 'given three days to leave as bulldozers move in'

More than 300 women and 60 children are understood to be among those facing eviction from the site

John Hall,Shanna Jones
Tuesday 12 January 2016 13:04
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 The French government wants to dismantle up to a third of the Jungle camp, according to aid workers based there
The French government wants to dismantle up to a third of the Jungle camp, according to aid workers based there

Up to 2,000 refugees living at the Jungle camp in Calais are to be evicted this week ahead of large sections of the site being bulldozed, aid workers in the area have claimed.

More than 300 women and 60 children are understood to be among those facing eviction from the site amid claims the French government wants to dismantle up to a third of the camp.

As many as 500 shelters are at risk, according to a Facebook post by the Help Refugees organisation, who said that those living in the affected sections of the camp were yesterday given three days to leave.

Help Refugees said the three-day limit falls makes it almost impossible for them to provide assistance to those at risk of being left without food, water and shelter, adding that they anticipate being able to move one of 10 of the people, tents and shelters at risk – with the rest being destroyed by bulldozers.

More than 300 women and 60 children are understood to be among those facing eviction from the site

“We are devastated to find out we have less than three days to relocate the residents, having been promised much longer by the authorities,” Philli Boyle, Help Refugees' Calais manager said.

“Our focus will be on safely moving the women and children, but we will do everything we can to help as many of the people as possible in the limited time we have,” he added.

“We had really hoped to be able to move people (many of whom are already so traumatised by their experiences in the countries they have fled from) in a way that would maintain as much dignity as possible, and reduce stress, however this has now been taken out of our hands given the incredibly limited time we now have,” Mr Boyle went on to say.

Negotiations to grant an extension to the three-day eviction notice are understood to be ongoing, with aid charities hopeful they will given more time to clear the affected areas.

Community leaders inside the camp told French president Francois Hollande that they had no plans to leave the site.

"We, the United people of the jungle, Calais, respectfully decline the demands of the French government with regards to reducing the size of the jungle," they said in a statement.

"We have decided to remain where we are and will peacefully resist the government plans to destroy our homes.We plead with the French authorities and the international communities that you understand our situation and respect our fundamental human rights," they added.

The camp, which is situated on the outskirts of Calais, has grown in recent months and is now home to thousands of migrants.

Earlier this week it was reported that a final decision is due over whether to build a new £1.1million centre in Dunkirk that could house up to 3,000 migrants.

Many campaigners fear the plan will be rejected, however, as it has been met with fierce local opposition.

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