UN lauds French decision to close Calais refugee camp

Also known as the Jungle, the camp in northern France home to thousands of people hoping to cross over into the UK

UN lauds French decision to close Calais refugee camp

World Bulletin / News Desk

The UN welcomed Friday France's decision to shut down the Calais refugee camp by the end of the year.

French President Francois Hollande had made the announcement on Sept. 26, saying French authorities would "completely and definitively" scrap by the end of 2016 the refugee camp in Calais in northern France, which is home to thousands of people hoping to cross over into the U.K.

Speaking at a press conference at the UN headquarters in Geneva on Friday, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Adrian Edwards said: "This is welcome. The Calais authorities estimate that some 6,000 people are staying at the camp.

"It is vital that they be moved in a planned and organized manner, and that proper alternative accommodation is found for them around the country."

Edwards added that the people in the camp needed to be informed in advance about the dismantling of the camp.

"Strengthened measures must be taken to reunite children with relatives in Europe, such as the 200 unaccompanied children in Calais identified as having family links in the United Kingdom."

He added that the UN had long recommended the camp's closure saying that the living conditions in the camp were appalling.

According to local authorities, the camp is home to 6,900 migrants and refugees, while campaigners claim it houses more than 9,000 people.

The migrants in the camp are hoping to cross the English Channel and reach the U.K., but the British government is funding a new four-meter-high barrier that it hopes will stop them from trying.

French authorities cleared the southern part of the camp in March. 

Last Mod: 14 Ekim 2016, 17:44
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