The official purposse of “respite Centers”, or centers Reception and Orientation (CAD), are to enable migrants who wish to benefit from accomodation, so to allow them to reflect on their migratory journey, but also “to reduce the population of these camps” (Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Ile-de-France, according to “operating charter” recently published).
The fact it has been regulary used as new accomodation during evictions on Parisian camps make the CAO also a system of re-housing in case of expulsion, which makes us questioning about the voluntary character of departures. In reality, lack of accomodations in Paris, migrants camps on the street are created, they are removed by the police, sometimes violently, people are put in buses, as there is still not home camps are reformed, in evicted one by one (see here, here, here, here, here and here).
The existence of available places in CAO was also highlighted by the Prefecture of Pas-de-Calais as an alternative accommodation during the destruction of the southern part of Calais slum. In fact, the number of places was insufficient, and that on the numbers of population living in the Jungle is one of the issues discussed between the prefecture and associations.
To go to CAO has also been proposed (unsuccessfully) during the destruction of the camp Chocques (see here and here), and imposed under threat at the camp Steenvoorde (without success, since the deportees are returned to the crossing points to the United Kingdom).
André Bauchant : Ulysses and the Sirens.