Police oversee dismantling of giant migrant camp in France

PARIS -- Under the eye of hundreds of riot police, workers began pulling down tents and makeshift shelters in the sprawling camp in Calais on Monday, dismantling the fragile structures that have served as temporary homes for migrants hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain.

See Full Article

A flashpoint on the edge of the Channel, the camp sprang up less than a year ago in the port city, which has both ferries and the Eurotunnel rail route to Britain. It has grown explosively in past months amid Europe's migrant crisis, fueling far-right sentiment in both Britain and France. Some 4,000 people are estimated to live in the camp -- down from 6,000 in December.

Calais has lived with migrants in its midst for years, but the current camp on the city's edge sprang up around a day centre opened last April by the state -- and after small camps inside the city were bulldozed. The dismantling of the dense southern portion of the current camp would be the largest such operation the city has known.

Scores of riot police stood guard, keeping journalists and volunteers out as helmeted workers tackled the shelters one by one.

Prefect Fabienne Buccio, who had ordered the camp evacuated and dismantled earlier this month, showed up as the operation began.

"Really three houses out of four -- I mean three huts out of four, or three tents out of four -- were already totally abandoned with a lot of garbage inside," she said. Migrants, she said, "had the time necessary to gather their belongings. The rest was good enough to throw away."

However, cameras zooming into huts captured scenes of daily life fully intact.

The start of what is likely to be a weeks-long operation came four days after a court ruled that shelters could come down -- but not common areas like houses of worship, a school, a women's centre and library, much of it built with the help of French and British volunteers appalled by conditions in the makeshift camp.

Humanitarian groups and migrants who had contested the state decision to level the most populous sector of the camp filed an appeal to the ruling on Friday with the Council of State, but any decision is likely to take weeks or months, long after the camp is gone.

French authorities are offering to relocate uprooted migrants into heated containers installed last month nearby, or at centres around France where they can decide whether to apply for asylum. Many have resisted the move, fearing it will hurt their chances of reaching Britain, and some migrant advocates say there isn't enough space in the new area.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police say man who crashed vehicle into pole died of gunshot wounds

    Canada News CTV News
    VAUGHAN, Ont. -- Police are investigating after a man found behind the wheel of a vehicle that crashed in Vaughan, Ont., died of gunshot wounds. York regional police say emergency crews were called to the intersection of Highway 7 and Interchange Way early Thursday. Source
  • A look at victims of the attack outside London's Parliament

    World News CTV News
    LONDON — Here's what's known about the victims of an attack in London where a man plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring scores of others. He then stabbed a policeman to death on the grounds of Britain's Parliament before other officers fatally shot him. Source
  • Trump Jr. called a 'disgrace' for criticizing London mayor

    World News CTV News
    In this Jan. 20, 2017, file photo, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington for the presidential Inauguration of their father, Donald Trump. (Saul Loeb via AP, Pool, File) Source
  • AP Exclusive: U.S. probes banking of ex-Trump campaign chief

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press has learned. Source
  • Alberta mom's 'Rainbow Baskets' bring comfort to parents of children with Down syndrome

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta mother is offering a helping hand to parents of babies born with Down syndrome who may feel overwhelmed by the diagnosis. Krista Rowland-Collins sends baskets of gifts and baby supplies to families who give birth to children born with Down syndrome in the Calgary area. Source
  • Republican health bill on the brink hours before showdown vote

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to U.S. Source
  • It never seems a good time for a tax-the-rich budget: Don Pittis

    Canada News CBC News
    Maybe it's never a good time for greater equality. When Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his team of public servants began putting the final touches on his budget a few weeks ago, things could hardly have looked better for the economy. Source
  • 'She was my only girl': Nunavut teen's death sheds light on failures in fighting TB

    Canada News CBC News
    Matthew Kilabuk walks into the Inns North hotel in Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, and begins blowing on his hands to warm them up. It is -30 C outside, without wind chill. Kilabuk, a well-known local artist who's trying to sell some of his drawings, is wearing mitts but the sheepskin is tattered and thin. Source
  • Access to tax deduction for fertility treatments expanded in budget

    Canada News CBC News
    Many Canadians who have turned to assisted reproductive technologies over the past 10 years are now eligible for a tax deduction as a result of Finance Minister Bill Morneau's new budget. Getting medical help to conceive a child can cost thousands of dollars, a cost that isn't covered by most provincial health plans. Source
  • Supreme Court of Canada to rule on Dennis Oland's bail appeal

    Canada News CBC News
    The country's highest court will rule today on whether the New Brunswick Court of Appeal made a mistake by denying Dennis Oland bail while he was waiting to appeal his second-degree murder conviction. The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to release its decision at 10:45 a.m. Source