Increase in violent evictions from refugee camps in France fueling record levels of Channel crossings, activists say


A CLIMBING in violent evictions from refugee camps in Calais is leading to record numbers of perilous canal crossings, activists have warned.The number of boat crossings has increased during the pandemic with more than 3,100 refugees arriving in England from France so far this year.

This is compared to around 1,800 in 2019.

Aid workers in northern France say this is fueled by a growing number of evictions from makeshift camps.

Earlier this month, police carried out one of the largest operations since the dismantling of the “jungle” camp in 2016, with the displacement of 519 people.

Care4Calais founder Clare Moseley said this week that police often resort to violent tactics during these evictions, including the use of tear gas.

She said: “This policy is cruel and counterproductive. He only succeeded in increasing the number of people desperate enough to attempt a dangerous attempt to cross the Channel. ”

The activist believes the recent operations are a response to Interior Minister Priti Patel’s April pledge to crack down on boat crossings.

“Priti Patel and the French authorities only add to the chaos in the Channel, they have no strategy to protect vulnerable refugees and gain control of our borders in the long term,” added Moseley.

More than 1,000 refugees are believed to be living in parking lots, woods and fields in northern France in dire conditions.

Since the closure of the “jungle” camp, refugees have been constantly evicted by the police, who often confiscate and destroy their tents, blankets and personal effects.

However, Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont disagreed that there was a link between level crossings and evictions, saying he was fueled by “the law and the British way of life ”.


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