French police evicted a camp that was housing about two thousand people, including many families and unaccompanied minors, in the north of the country, where immigration trips to the United Kingdom depart, while human rights activists fear that the health conditions of asylum seekers will deteriorate, with the arrival of winter and falling temperatures.
On Thursday, October 19, The “Utopia 56” association said that the police evicted about two thousand people from a camp called “Lon Plage”, near Dunkirk in northern France, according to the “InfoMigrants” website.
The associations denounced the overpopulation of reception centers in the area, which is considered a gathering point for those wishing to cross to the United Kingdom, and pointed out that the state sent only five buses to transport migrants to accommodation centers.
Amelie Moyart, coordinator of the “Utopia 56” association in Grand Sainte, noted that the eviction process continued for several hours, and explained, “Among the people were at least 50 families, nine pregnant women, and about 200 unaccompanied minors.”
However, she said, there were only five buses to transport the two thousand people to the shelters, because the reception centers in the area were full.
The association assigned by the state to shelter migrants warned that there was no longer any room in the reception center.
Moyart explained that the situation of migrants has become very complicated in recent weeks in the Dunkirk area, warning that “there are new arrivals every day.”
She added, “The associations are exhausted. We cannot manage. With the arrival of the cold this week, the matter has become more complicated. The temperature has dropped to 5-6 degrees these days.”
Last week, the authorities evicted the largest migrant camps on the outskirts of the city of Calais. A total of 537 people, most of them Sudanese, left the so-called “Old Liddell” camp and were transferred by the authorities to shelter facilities in the region. According to the associations that were present during the eviction, the migrants were forced to board buses sent by the city.
The police have previously carried out evictions from this camp several times this year, the last of which dates back to last June. But migrants settle tirelessly in this region, due to the lack of solutions. Some migrants returned to the same camp site a few hours after the eviction, while others wandered the streets of Calais.
Maritime Governor of the Canal and the North Sea, Marc Ferrand, announced that the authorities have monitored about 30,000 attempts to cross the canal since the beginning of this year. “This is 25% less than it was in 2022, thanks to the work of the security forces, who prevent or try to prevent people from going into the sea (…) but it is still too much,” he said.