What has become known as the ‘jungle’ of Calais is in the midst of suffering a major ‘deforestation’ this week. The infamous migrant camp, currently home to 10,000 people, is due to be completely evacuated and then demolished, as an attempt of French officials to clear the camp once and for all.
The plan is to register the migrants, in groups with friends or families if they wish to stay together, before moving them away by bus to asylum centres that have been set up across the French countryside. Once there, they will have the opportunity to claim asylum and then move on to more permanent housing, or if that fails they will be deported.
More than 1,200 police have been assigned to the process due to fears of unrest and possible violence amongst the migrants, although Monday morning saw only a few minor altercations. This said, the first day was not as successful as expected, with delays in the buses; several of the migrants refused to wait and returned back to their make-shift homes.
Monday saw 45 buses come to move 2318 people away, including 400 children. On Tuesday a further 45 buses came and Wednesday 40. However, the areas to which they are being moved have seen a number of complaints from local residents in the belief that the migrants could possibly be violent, steal from them, or at the very least deter tourism.
Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, has agreed to help fund the clear out due to its benefit for the protection of the British borders. Despite already paying a sum of £80 million for private security companies to patrol Northern France in the past couple of years, Britain faces a further £36 million charge for this project in Calais.