Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Calais Migrant Camp Closed Down

French Police evict residents of ‘the jungle’
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE - French police moved into the notorious ‘jungle’ refugee camp outside Calais early this morning and began clearing the area.

According to reports only 300 migrants are left in the camp, with over a thousand having already left.

The camp has been condemned in the past as a staging post for attempts by would-be illegal immigrants to attempt to enter the UK by stowing away aboard trucks. Migrants from the camp have also been accused of attempting to hold up vehicles and rob them in the area and of two rapes.

Shortly before the operation began, French Immigration Minister Eric Besson said the camp had to be closed as it was "a base for people traffickers".

"There are traffickers who make these poor people pay an extremely high price for a ticket to England," he said.

The UK’s Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said: "Both countries are committed to helping individuals who are genuine refugees, who should apply for protection in the first safe country that they reach.

"We expect those who are not in need of protection to return home."