Children risk lives 'everyday' as UK builds Calais wall

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Children risk lives 'everyday' as UK builds Calais wall

World Bulletin / News Desk

The migrant camp in northern France known colloquially as “the Jungle” does a roaring trade in energy drinks.

Row upon row of Red Bull and Monster Regular cans line the wooden shelves of a makeshift convenience store serving the camp’s mostly male inhabitants.

The caffeine-heavy drinks sell in droves for €1 ($1.12) each and it is little wonder. The dozens of migrants who each night use the cover of darkness to try and hitch a ride on a heavy goods truck need all the energy they can get.

Their coveted destination is Britain, but the British government is funding a new 4-metre-high barrier close to the northern town of Calais that it hopes will stop them trying.

Construction began on Tuesday on the concrete wall that will extend for a single kilometer alongside the motorway to the Calais port where ferries carrying lorries depart day and night for the U.K.

But British tabloids have derided the undertaking, dubbing it “the Great Wall of Calais” and attacking its £2 million ($2.6 million) cost.

Migrants who spoke to Anadolu Agency before the construction work began were similarly dismissive.

- ‘I will keep trying’

“Of course you can do it, it’s very possible,” said 32-year-old Aziz, with an unconcerned wave of his hand when asked how likely it was to sneak on board a lorry without being caught.

The Albanian migrant worked for 10 years in the western English city of Northampton until he was deported for overstaying his fixed-term visa.

“They keep sending me away and I will just keep trying to come back.”

He flashed a grin: “They can’t stop me.”

Aziz is one of the so-called “economic migrants” – people not fleeing war and destruction, but rather seeking a better life for themselves – that Britain does not want to accept.

But Walid, 25, who travelled over desert and sea from his native Sudan, had a different story.

“There is a genocide in my country – I have no family anymore,” he explained in unfaltering English.

“I will try [to get on a truck] every day. Yesterday I was sick but I will try again tonight.”

“All I want to do is study in Britain,” he said.

The Jungle camp, home to an estimated over 9,000 people according to French authorities, is a sea of plastic tents fanning out in all directions from a main street of wooden buildings that contain restaurants, a community center with a blaring television, and stores selling canned drinks.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Eylül 2016, 14:42