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France Clearing the “Jungle” of Refugees

October 26, 2016
Plain English Version


The “Jungle” is in the city of Calais, France. It is a refugee camp. It is home to thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Life in the Jungle is miserable. People live in tents. Sanitation is poor. Schools and health care is bad.

For years, France has tried to close the Jungle. There has always been resistance to closing it. What to do with the refugees? Where to send them? Most of the people in the Jungle want to go to England. They try to sneak into England on trucks. The tricks are traveling through the tunnel linking France and England.

A man from Sudan said, “I have been here for three months, but it is not good, it is not Europe to be in the Jungle. I came here to look for a new life, new people, new civilizations. But when I am in there, I think to myself that I am still in Africa.”

From The New York Times

The City of Calais and the refugee camp. From The New York Times

Most people agreed the Jungle is a humanitarian disaster.

The French want to raze the camp. Clearing it out is underway. Bulldozers are working, and tons of junk is getting thrown out.

Great Britain is helping to finance the cleanup operation.

There was little resistance among the first groups transferred out. Children who are alone present a special problem. They are going to hundreds of special camps set up around France. Great Britain has said it will take the minors who have relatives in England.

Great Britain said it would take the minors who have relatives in England.

Big questions remain. More refugees are arriving in France. An aid worker spoke about the future. He said, “What is going to happen for the thousands of minors who are going to continue to arrive? You have the same migratory flows and the same migration policies on both sides of the Channel.  It will change nothing.”

Source: The New York Times October 25, 2016

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