New steps to deal with Calais migration crisis announced

Migration/United Kingdom/Calais – Reply by M. Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 16 February 2016


So we took the decision to seal the border, because we have to dismantle people-smuggling networks. We’ve dismantled 25% of the additional networks and, as you know, in Grande-Synthe this morning 17 smugglers, 17 people involved in human trafficking, were locked up in the interests of public safety.

We also want to provide a humanitarian solution to the people in Calais and Grande-Synthe. We’ve provided 98 reception and guidance centres which have enabled us to relocate and provide guidance on asylum applications for 2,500 people who were in Calais, and we’ve continued deporting those who weren’t eligible for asylum in France and who must be taken back to their countries of origin if we want to guarantee asylum under the right conditions.

As for the result of this policy, you didn’t emphasize it in your question. Grande-Synthe, where there were 3,000 migrants in December, now has only 1,500; Calais, where there were then 6,000, now has only 3,800./.

Calais: ensuring nobody lives in humiliating conditions any more

The government is determined to ensure public order and find long-term solutions.

To enable the people of Calais to enjoy the security and tranquillity which are their right, but also to shelter and support migrants who are in need of protection and would like to apply for asylum, while resolutely combating the people-smugglers, the government is continuing its action, at a time when the migration crisis in Europe is not diminishing:

- The implementation of humanitarian solutions in conjunction with security measures is bearing fruit (speeding-up of asylum procedures, improved sanitation in the campement de la lande [camp outside Calais], departure of migrants to reception and guidance centres elsewhere in France). The number of migrants present in Calais has fallen to about 3,700, compared to 6,000 a few months ago. 80% of the people who have left the camp since the autumn have applied for asylum.

- Pas-de-Calais prefecture decided on Friday 12 February to halve the surface area of the so-called Calais “Jungle” (50 hectares). In the southern part of the camp, two in every three shelters were no longer inhabited. This is a new step, following the removal at the end of January of 600 migrants from the vicinity of the port’s ring road.

- This decision will entail the relocation of 800 to 1,000 people currently living in the area to the places the government has made available to them. The migrants will thus go to:

The temporary reception centre (CAP) opened in January, capable of accommodating 1,500 people. To date, 750 of the 1,500 accommodation places that will be provided to replace the campement de la lande are already available and 700 are already occupied. The other 750 will be ready in the coming days, as planned.

France’s various reception and guidance centres (CAOs) – where 2,600 migrants from Calais went at the end of October –, from where they can begin steps to apply for asylum.

Published on 26/04/2016

top of the page