Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, will be visiting Calais this Friday 23 October, as part of a Green parliamentary delegation to investigate how the French authorities are dealing with migrants. The visit follows the destruction of the ‘jungle’ camps last month where migrants had set up temporary bases while waiting for an opportunity to enter the UK.
The purpose of the visit is to explore the current situation, given that the operation by the French authorities appears to have failed to have deterred migrants from settling in the area. Of the 138 people, mainly from Afghanistan, who were placed in detention after the operation on 22 September, 122 were subsequently released and many have already returned to Calais.
The delegation of Green MEPs, representing several EU countries, intends to report on the current situation and investigate whether the human rights of the migrants are being respected.
The programme for the delegation will include meetings with the French authorities and local NGOs, as well as visits to the Coquelles detention centre and the new camps.
Jean Lambert MEP, who is a Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee and is the Green Group’s Spokesperson on Asylum and Migration said:
“It is vital that the spotlight remains on Calais as the situation there is still desperate for many migrants. As squats are demolished new ‘jungles’ are springing up and many of those camping are without adequate food and shelter.
“Local NGOs are struggling to provide sufficient support and there are grave concerns over the actions of the French police. Many of the people in the camps are young adults and children and are clearly in a very vulnerable situation.
“This delegation visit is hoping to raise the alarm over the continued poor treatment of people in the camps and we hope to get some answers from the French authorities on how this situation will be handled going forward.”
There will be a press conference taking place in the bar at Le Channel, 173 boulevard Gambetta, BP 77, 62102 Calais at 12.30pm local time on Friday, see here for directions:
Agenda for MEP delegation visit – Friday 23 October
9.15 to 10.30: Meeting with community leaders
10.45 to 12.15: Field visit to ‘jungle’ camps
12.30: Press conference at Le Channel
13.30: Meeting with migrants during the meal distribution by NGOs at Quai de Moselle
14.00: Lunch at Le Channel
15.30: Port of Calais: presentation on its operations and security arrangements
16.30-17.30: Tour of Detention Centre in Coquelles