Six months after the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp demolition, Refugee Rights Data Project has published a new report n 24th April 2017, based on interviews with more than 200 refugees sleeping rough in the Calais area.

Since the demolition of the so-called ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais, hundreds of refugees and displaced people continue to reside in the region. The new report Six Months On: Filling information gaps relating children and young adults in Northern France following the demolition of the Calais camp  is the latest investigating the issues that both adults and minors face, including police and citizen violence, and an absence of legal advice.IMG-20170409-WA0002

It is based on interviews with 213 individuals – some 43% of the displaced people thought to be living in the region, including 42% of estimated minors. This makes it the largest study of its kind in Calais and the surrounding area since the camp’s demolition.

The research was carried out in early April with the kind support of Help Refugees, Refugee Youth Service and other key actors on the ground.

Founder, Marta Welander and the Refugee Rights Data project team request that this is shared widely, and welcome contact with anyone who  wants to discuss ideas of how this research could be used as part of campaigning and advocacy work. [email protected]
17855370_1659429904363848_7217511517345808348_o (1)Some of the key findings of the RRDP study include:
– 99% of the children living in the Calais area are unaccompanied;
– 64% of the children have been in Europe for more than six months, while 19% have been there for more than a year;
– 56% previously lived in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp;
– 43% said they have family in Europe – 37% have family in the UK and the rest in Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland;
– 86% “don’t feel safe” or “don’t feel safe at all”;
– 97% have experienced police violence in France, including tear gas, physical abuse and verbal abuse;
– 92% have been told to move by French police while they were sleeping, with just 15% being informed where they could sleep instead. 77% described the incident as ‘violent’;
– 56% have experienced violence from citizens in France, including physical and verbal abuse;17854984_1659426421030863_6056371357248627884_o (1)
– 89% want to go to the UK, primarily because they have family and friends there, and/or because they believe their asylum claim would be accepted there. Others said they aim for the UK because they believe they can get a good education there, and/or because they can speak English;
– 95% don’t have access to information about asylum law or immigration rules.

The conclusions of the report state: 

“Six months after the demolition of the Calais camp, it’s clear that many problems remain unsolved. These research findings shine a light on the extent of the child protection failure taking place in the Calais area. A large proportion of refugee children living in the region are unaccompanied, and many of them have been in France for six months or longer.17760813_1659429091030596_6375062950264424168_o (2)
During this time, the 32 majority have suffered from police violence, including tear gas and beatings. The lack of safety combined with an absence of recourse to information, advice and support, is striking. A large number of respondents reported that they have family in the UK, suggesting they may be eligible for reunification under the Dublin Regulation. However, many have been denied the chance to join their family under this legal mechanism, some are still awaiting the outcome, while others have not yet had the chance to apply. It is also clear that many vulnerable children on the streets of Calais should be granted protection in the UK under the ‘Dubs’ scheme, and this calls for decisive action by the British government.
Meanwhile, there is an urgent need to provide more humane standards on French soil. The current state approach of police brutality and intimidation does little to resolve the unsustainable situation that continues to unfold in and around Calais. In sum, British and French governments have an urgent role to play in the development of this humanitarian crisis, six months on from the demolition of the camp.”
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