France confirms eviction of thousands of refugees

France confirms eviction of thousands of refugees
Parts of the Calais 'Jungle' will be demolished as thousands of homeless refugees are forced to leave.
2 min read
26 February, 2016
Thousands of refugees are expected to be forced out as 'the jungle' is demolished [Getty]
Parts of the Calais "Jungle", a camp which is home to thousands of refugees, are to be demolished, a French judge has ruled.

The decision was made on Thursday when Judge Valerie Quemener upheld a proposed government plan to demolish the site.

The decision came after numerous charity groups as well as an estimated 250 residents made an appeal to suspend the evacuation.

"The order is applicable, except for common social areas," the spokesman for the Pas-de-Calais prefect's office told Reuters. "So it won't be applicable to places such as schools, a theatre and a legal office."

At least 1,000 refugees currently residing in the area are to be moved from the northern French port, with authorities suggesting force will be used "if necessary".

However, authorities have ensured the evacuation procedure will be gradual.

"Carrying out a brutal eviction in the south part of Calais with bulldozers was never envisaged," said Bernard Cazeneuve, French Interior Minister.

London2Calais, a British voluntary organisation, responded saying it "considers that the proposed evictions, which go against all the demands of humanitarian organisations, are a cruel and repressive assault on defenceless people".

"It should be resisted by all means necessary," the group's spokesperson told The New Arab.

Alternative accommodation is available for migrants in a container park nearby, but the makeshift camp does not have key facilities - including toilets or showers.