Last week we released our latest report on the state of the refugee crisis in Northern France, with some very disturbing findings. Most concerning is that refugees, mostly minors, continue to arrive daily to the Calais area and the situation is becoming more critical every day. We still need your help more than ever.
With the devastating news that the transfer of minors to the UK has halted, and the broken promise that those who willingly went to French welcome centres would not be deported under the 'Dublin’ system, distraught refugees have nowhere left to turn but the cold streets of Paris or the lost hope of Calais. They are therefore returning to conditions that are now worse than the Jungle ever was, as sleeping rough means night after night in sub-zero temperatures with no running water, sanitation, cooking or washing facilities.
What does our report show?
- At least 10-12 new refugees arrive in or around or pass through Calais every day
- 200 refugees living in the smaller camps in Pas de Calais, plus 100 in the Calais town area, of which at least 50 are unaccompanied minors
- 1,300 living in wooden huts in Dunkirk, steeped in infectious black mould sleeping up to 10 refugees each, including children
- Over 1,000 unaccompanied refugee minors scattered across France who are now giving up hope and in a precarious state
- 400 refugees sleeping rough in Paris
- 2,000 refugees outside of the CAOs system across France
- Many unaccounted for in detention centres in Lille, Paris and Calais
Just one element of our work includes taking food and aid daily to around 70 people sleeping rough in the Calais area. Many of these are children who have run away from the French centres after learning that they won’t be taken in by the UK. Given that these refugees are in hiding, it’s reasonable to assume that there are many that we have not yet found. Here in Calais night time temperatures are dropping to minus four and we are extremely concerned for their welfare. Just last week the French police came along and blocked up the place where they were sheltering so that they could not access their belongings or sleeping bags and blankets.
With the situation deteriorating every day, we desperately need both new and old volunteers to join our team. Could this be you? Whether you can offer a day, a week or come as a long-term helper there are many key jobs that urgently need support…
- Help to sort and organise our Calais warehouse: the heart of the distribution operation
- Taking aid to the refugees sleeping rough both in Calais and the surrounding area
- Help in Dunkirk with building and cooking as well as supporting in the women and children’s centre
- Assist refugees who are facing confrontation and uncertainty in Paris
- Visit CAO centres across France where evicted refugees from Calais are isolated and lonely
Thank you for your continued support,
Clare Moseley. Founder, Care4Calais