The French Interior Ministry announced Friday that the Calais Jungle, the overcrowded and notorious refugee camp in Northern France, will be dismantled. There are 6,486 refugees currently in the Calais Jungle who will be moved to other camps throughout the country. “It is an operation that carries a risk,” said a French official in regards to the plan.
The official added that the evacuation plan will begin on Monday and is expected to last about a week. In the camp, there are refugees from all over the world, including Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea, who are requesting to enter Britain.
Britain usually rejects their asylum request in accordance with the EU law that states that refugees need to ask for asylum from the first country they enter. Last month, French President Francois Hollande announced the plans to close the camp. He described the situation in the camp as “unacceptable.” This week, a French court dismissed the petition to delay the evacuation until alternative housing for the refugees was found. The petition was submitted by various human rights organizations.
The refugees living in the Calais Jungle will be divided by families into several groups. The groups will then be divided among hundreds of refugee facilities in France where they will undergo medical tests and file an asylum request if they wish. 1,250 police officers and security personnel will oversee this operation, making sure that it goes smoothly.