Calais Jungle Dismantled

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Calais Jungle Dismantled

Daniel Carvalheiro-Santos, Staff Writer

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The refugee situation has consumed much of the world’s news attention. Europe has overflown with what experts believe to be more than one million refugees. In the midst of the incoming refugees, European countries have established dozens of refugee camps and are now attempting to integrate the refugees into society. In efforts to encourage integration, one of Europe’s biggest refugee camps, the camp at Calais, France, has evacuated around 3100 migrants into different regions of France. Now the French authorities are proceeding towards demolition of the once bustling port. This past Tuesday night, the town of Calais was consumed by the flames that burned the temporary tents established at the camp.

Many readers may be wondering the reasoning behind this spontaneous destruction of the camp. According to French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government, the dismantling of the camp was done as a political strategy to reassure the people of France that the French government has the refugee crisis under control. The concept of a “Jungle”, as it has been dubbed by the international press, has led to much insecurity among the French people.  

The evacuation was a horrifying occurrence for the refugees living in the camp. Some refugees were forced to leave without any of their possessions. Released into the unknown, these refugees had no home, and after several incidents of mistreatment at the hands of French authorities, the refugees all attempted to flee to London, where they could start a new life. One Afghan girl was quoted as saying, “I spent the entire night [at this registration facility]. I am in the queue for minors to go to England. I have family there.” This girl is one of 1500 unaccompanied minors that have been taken to the refugee registration centers.

France is facing many problems in their country at the same time. First, the eminent threat of terrorism, then the new election season, which has proven to be quite a messy situation, and, now, the refugee crisis. The Calais shantytown has been demolished and burned to the ground, a fact that seems to please many French citizens who fear for the safety and stability of their country. However, many refugees who have left their homeland seek much the same, yet they now find themselves on the move once more, aimless, without the prospect of a future, left homeless on the coast of France.   

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