• France's news in English

France scolded for 'round-ups' of refugees

The Local · 2 Dec 2015, 12:35

Published: 02 Dec 2015 12:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
French prison inspector Adeline Hazan had harsh words for France about its treatment of the refugees in the New Jungle, a campsite in Calais that is home to around 4,500 migrants.
The inspector, whose job is to ensure that people deprived of liberty in France have their fundamental rights respected, concluded in an eight-page report on Wednesday that there are "serious violations of human rights" at the camp. 
She singled out breaches to migrants' rights after finding families were forcefully separated, as well as "disgraceful conditions" at refugee detention centres.
At one point, the inspector found 13 people crammed into one room measuring just 11 metres squared. Those detained often don't have adequate access to a toilet, nor a cover to sleep under, the independent body noted. 
The report also hit out at the current process of "unclogging" the camp, which sees police descend on the Jungle to take migrants off to other parts of France. 
It found that between October 21st and November 10th this year, a total of 779 people were taken from the camp. Some 578 were released without authorities even looking into or studying their cases.  
The "unclogging" is intended to spread the refugees across the country to ease pressure on the Calais bottleneck as more migrants move into the port city in the hopes of crossing the Channel to get to the UK. 
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve denied any wrong-doing in a written reply and said the detentions were a temporary response to "unprecedented migratory pressure".
He said the authorities "intended to deport all the foreigners placed in detention" and judicial procedures had been followed.
The Calais "round-ups" have also been a target by an investigative news site recently, which reported that France spends an annual €1.5 million ($1.7 million) on a private jet to transfer only a handful refugees at a time.
Story continues below…
Frédéric Hochart, spokesperson for the UNSA police union in Calais, said at the time "most of the people who are sent away just come back anyway". 
The situation in Calais has proved an ugly blight on France's reputation as an asylum-seeking destination. Earlier this year, the NGO Human Rights Watch accused the police in Calais of "harassment and abuse" towards migrants in a highly critical report.
Last month, France's top administrative court backed an order that forces the French government to improve conditions at the camp after several other NGOs also concluded that the camp had "serious human rights violations".
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available