France and U.K. resettle asylum-seekers in preparation for dismantlement of Calais camp
The government—with the help of more than 10,000 refugee aid agencies—has begun moving an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 asylum-seekers out of the Calais camp (known as the “Jungle”) and into “reception centers” throughout the country.
The UK has committed to accepting unaccompanied children across the border, although local agencies have expressed concern about a lack of planning to facilitate the transfer process.
The asylum-seekers are expected to spend an average of two months in the centers under the supervision of social workers before being again relocated while their asylum applications are processed, though some report having languished in limbo for longer.
The Guardian trains its cameras on daily life the Calais Jungle refugee camp, where all-consuming existential worries and attempts to cross the border into the U.K. live alongside basic activities like food preparation, grabbing a shower, playing soccer, and attending religious services. Among these everyday activities, the Guardian traces some of the personal stories that brought individuals to Calais.
Migrant situation in Calais deteriorates as French and British authorities bicker over responsibility
Reports indicate that more than 2,000 migrants have been taken from the Eurotunnel premises connecting France and the U.K. over the last few days, although a police union stated those numbers may be inflated due to migrants making multiple attempts.
One man was killed and another electrocuted during the surge in attempts, while 148 made it to the U.K. side and declared asylum.
While France demands more border and repatriation support from the U.K., around 5,000 migrants and refugees–mostly from Africa and the Middle East–have been living in poor conditions in camps around Calais.
“It was pandemonium. … They were pouring through holes in the fences and clinging on to the Eurotunnel trains.”