Jungle Grew into a Sprawling Symbol of the Migrant Crisis; at Dawn Yesterday, Police Vans and Fire Engines Gathered on the Perimeter of the Rat-Infested Jungle in Calais as Migrants and Refugees Queued to Register for Accommodation Centres Elsewhere in France after Being Told They Must Leave the Camp or Risk Arrest and Deportation. as Demolition Begins, Tom Pugh and Jack Hardy Chart the Controversial Camp's Bleak History

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 25, 2016 | Go to article overview

Jungle Grew into a Sprawling Symbol of the Migrant Crisis; at Dawn Yesterday, Police Vans and Fire Engines Gathered on the Perimeter of the Rat-Infested Jungle in Calais as Migrants and Refugees Queued to Register for Accommodation Centres Elsewhere in France after Being Told They Must Leave the Camp or Risk Arrest and Deportation. as Demolition Begins, Tom Pugh and Jack Hardy Chart the Controversial Camp's Bleak History


CALAIS has lived with migrants for years but when the latest camp on the city's edge sprang up around a day centre it grew rapidly into a demoralising symbol of Europe's migrant crisis.

Despite efforts to cut numbers by dismantling the slum's southern section earlier this year, migrants from countries including Sudan, Syria and Eritrea continued to arrive at the muddy, rat-infested shantytown.

For the residents, many of whom have fled poverty, persecution and war in their home countries, the prospect of a new life in Britain is irresistible.

But getting to the UK illegally is dangerous.

The death toll among migrants in Calais this year stands at 14. The latest fatality was an Eritrean man killed after being struck by a vehicle driven by a Briton on the A16 motorway.

The desperation among refugees and migrants was highlighted by the case of Abdul Rahman Haroun, from Sudan, who walked the 31-mile length of the Channel Tunnel to reach Folkestone.

Life for those in the Jungle camp and others in northern France is grim. Unicef has reported children being subjected to sexual exploitation, violence and forced labour on a daily basis.

The charity also revealed cases of boys and girls being raped, and young women being subjected to sexual demands in exchange for a promise of passage to Britain.

The dire conditions have led to repeated calls for the British and French governments to speed up the transfer of unaccompanied children out of the camp.

Amid the destitution, however, grew an underlying sense of community - fostered by charity workers and entrepreneurial migrants.

Kids' Cafe became the epicentre of debate around the camp when it was threatened with closure by French officials.

Recognisable by its vibrant paintwork, the makeshift eatery provided free food, asylum advice and language classes for minors - and was spared demolition after a petition was signed by 170,000 people.

Ramshackle places of worship including churches and mosques were also peppered across the vast site, while a host of improvised restaurants and convenience shops provide for the needs of others.

While the Jungle of today may be the most drastic incarnation of the refugee camp at the country's northern point, it was by no means the first. …

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Jungle Grew into a Sprawling Symbol of the Migrant Crisis; at Dawn Yesterday, Police Vans and Fire Engines Gathered on the Perimeter of the Rat-Infested Jungle in Calais as Migrants and Refugees Queued to Register for Accommodation Centres Elsewhere in France after Being Told They Must Leave the Camp or Risk Arrest and Deportation. as Demolition Begins, Tom Pugh and Jack Hardy Chart the Controversial Camp's Bleak History
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