JungleofCalais hat ein Interview mit Maya Konforti veröffentlicht, die als Aktivistin von L’Auberge des Migrants seit 2014 in Calais und Grande-Synthe vor Ort ist. Schwerpunkte des Interviews sind die Situation in den dortigen Camps, das polizeiliche Vorgehen, die Auswirkungen der Corona-Pandemie und der enorme Anstieg der Channel-Crossings. Das Interview ist in Englisch, eine deutsche Übersetzung in Vorbereitung.

What are the current locations of camps in the area, and how many people are living there?

Those camps should not even be called camps, but ´surviving areas´, and they are mostly in Calais and Grande- Synthe. There´s about five different places in Calais. Zone Industrielle des dunes is the most populated. In Grande- Synthe there´s two or three places. At Zone Industrielle des dunes,there are about 800 to 900 people at the moment (the interview took place early May). Altogether, we counted 1100 people in Calais last week. And that was after about 200 people left for confinement. In Grande- Synthe, there´s only about 400, 500 people. Numbers have gone down there quite a bit, because many have actually made it to the UK recently.

What are the countries of origins, and are there still new arrivals?

There are only two or three trains arriving at Calais every day. But we still see new arrivals. About nationalities: in Calais, there are more Sudanese than there were a year ago, and still quite a few Iranians, Eritreans, Ethiopians, and some from Mali or  Mauritania who couldn´t manage to get asylum in France. And Afghans, but less than before. In Grande- Synthe,  there is a great majority of Kurdish people from Iraq and a small group of Pakistani people.

How about women, minors and families?

There are very few families in Calais, two or three, and a few single women, sometimes with a young child. And obviously, many families among the Kurdish people in Grande- Synthe, about 30. And about minors: the last count was about 60 in Calais and up to 150 in Grande- Synthe.

How does the situation in Calais differ from the one in Grande- Synthe?

They are quite different, both in terms of nationalities  and numbers. The numbers actually fluctuate. Sometimes, there are more people in Grande- Synthe than in Calais. Another difference is the way the local government acts. In Calais, the government has been mandated to install showers and toilets and grant  access to water in the spring of 2017, so they are still doing that. They also hand out food, although since the confinement started, they stopped serving hot meals. But still, they serve breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, which the government in Grande- Synthe has never done. In Grande- Synthe, the city installed a few toilets and I believe access to water and maybe a couple of showers, but that was done by the city and not by the prefecture. Another difference:  the proposition to go into confinement in Calais was completely voluntary, whether in Grande- Synthe, people have been told to get into the busses and then all their belongings are destroyed, as soon as they have climbed in the busses. […]

JungleofCalais | 15.05.2020

Calais: “What’s happening is crazy, it’s inhumane, it doesn’t work, but it’s going to continue.”