The Human Rights Ombudsman of the French government has published the follow up of the report published in October 2015 about the situation of the Exiles in Calais, which is an interesting tool kit if you want to think about changes in respect of people’s rights (see here, here, here and there).
The visit on the ground of the 30th June was followed by a statement that underlined the conditions under which an evacuation of the northern part would be respectful of French law (the setting up of “real housing alternatives” continuity of healthcare, schooling for children).
Also after the visit, a decision that went largely unnoticed in the middle of the Summer, and which measures the progress – or lack thereof – since the publication of the October 2015 report.
It is in the area of healthcare that the most positive developments are identified , but the decision also reiterates the importance of the services still being provided by the associations and the need for the state to take them over.
Regarding minors, the Human Rights Ombudsman issued a special statement in April 2016. Apart from a development on the reunification of the minors present in Calais with family members in the UK, he can only record the increase in their number in the slum as well as in the container camp which is unsuitable to accommodate them. He therefore repeated his recommendation for a day care scheme and the housing of all minors present at the site.
Little change has been recorded on Police violence, and investigations are announced concerning some new developments. Difficulties are still observed in terms of the communication of information by the Public Prosecutor.
The statement notes that insufficient resources are being devoted to giving information, to the reception of and to supporting asylum applicants, and the difficulties of obtaining access to related rights deriving from asylum claims. We can note that the situation has since deteriorated.
Concerning accommodation, which has the most direct link with the prospect of the destruction of slum. The statement recalls the disgraceful living conditions in the slum, and the inadequacy and insufficiency of the container camp, as well as the limitations of the reception and orientation centres(see here, here, here and here), which are not intended to replace the scheme for the reception of asylum seekers or the normal scheme for hosting people without shelter.
The Human Rights Ombudsman repeats his recommendation of human scale reception centres (and for this to take an inventory of vacant buildings and land in Calais) as is included in common law regarding emergency accommodation.
You can download the decision of the Human Rights Ombudsman here.