‘No border for migrants’: Plea of residents of ‘The Jungle’ as hundreds march through Calais watched on by beachgoers
- Demonstration in support of Calais migrants took place on Saturday
- So far 10 people have died trying to make the crossing to the UK in 2015
- There are an estimated 2,500 people living in The Jungle waiting to cross
The poster the young man holds asks a simple question: how many will die at this border?
The border in question is Calais, where an estimated 2,500 migrants and refugees are living in a camp, and waiting for their opportunity to cross the Channel illegally.
Already this year, 10 people have died in the attempt – sparking today’s march, in support of those living in ‘The Jungle’, watched from the beach by bemused holidaymakers and locals, enjoying the August sunshine with friends and family.
Protest: Migrants and their supporters marched through Calais port today. This poster asks how many more are going to die at this frontier – 10 people have already died trying to cross into the UK
Problem: The crisis in Calais has reached new crisis levels, with about 5,000 attempts made to cross
Spectators: People enjoying the sunshine on the beach watched as the march went past
Placards included ‘We have not come here to die’,
The number of people trying to cross at Calais has increased significantly over the past few months.
It is thought there have been more than 5,000 attempts to reach the UK – either hidden in the back of a lorry, on the train or running through the tunnel itself.
Truck drivers have reported being threatened with weapons by people, desperate to cross into England and begin a new life.
A number of the people attempting the crossing are economic migrants, but there are also a large number who are fleeing war and persecution.
Melissa Fleming, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said many of the residents of the Jungle were in need to international protections, having escaped countries like Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria.
Anger: There are thought to be about 2,500 people living in ‘The Jungle’, where conditions are said to be ‘dire’
Slow process: The UNHCR have called on France to speed up dealing with asylum applications
Emotional: A migrant covers his face during the demonstration, taking a moment for himself
She went on to describe the conditions for migrants living in Calais as ‘dire’, as she warned security measures alone were unlikely to be effective in stopping the influx.
She pointed to the ‘significant’ delays on making final decisions for people claiming asylum in France as a major contributor to the problem.
But those in charge in Calais have already argued the escalating problem is not the fault of the French, and want the UK to take control.
Deputy mayor Emmanuel Agius said earlier this week he would tear up the Le Touquet Treaty which means people crossing the Channel are checked in France, rather than on arrival in Britain.
Running for their lives: Many of the migrants have fled countries like Eritrea, Afghanistan and Syria
Making themselves heard: A man shouts slogans with a poster saying ‘Migrants lives matter’
Arguments: Authorities in Calais have threatened to start letting the migrants through if they don’t get help from David Cameron and the UK
Responding to claims British troops could be sent to Calais, he told a French newspaper: ‘If it continues like that, with such outrageous provocations, I believe that at a given moment, we are going to be provocative and say ‘Let the migrants through’, and Mr Cameron will have to deal with it.
‘They will be on his territory, in the port of Dover. He poses as the saviour of the situation, on a subject he is greatly mistaken about, just as he is mistaken about the men and women of Calais.’
But as these arguments continue, there is still little being done to improve the conditions for those living in The Jungle.
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