So the government has decided to destroy the largest shantytown in France and to send its population away in a few days in a haste incompatible with the rights of these people, for reasons of political strategy – turn off the controversy launched by the right to school – and of organization – avoid that they come up during the evacuation while people are being moved and those who continue to arrive in Calais or come back to the places where they have been forced to leave.
Faced with this violence and a general hardening context of the plan, powers have disintegrated with high speed, which gives a deep concern about who maybe the object of increasingly authoritarian and xenophobic policies .
To anesthetize against the resistance of an unexpected movement of solidarity with the refugees developing in France, a screen that shows the of the humanitarian operation. Hopefully, the evicted will be allowed in the Reception and Orientation centres (CAO – see here, here, here and here), to access buses take them there will be three rows, “vulnerable persons”, one for “minors”, one for the “others” obvious to show that the needs of the people are taken into account.
But behind the evidence of these three telegenic queues, what are the keys to sorting between these three categories and what are the ways to meet the special needs of these people ?
Consider the situation of vulnerable people, very vague terms that can bring together very different situations. families with children who can be directed to appropriate centres, and children’s schooling whih has to be been planned with nearby institutions with the capacity to accommodate non-French children during the year ( is this really the case?) We can also assume that medical care will be provided for injuries or common diseases. But for rarer diseases requiring specialized care, not in a hospital: it seems that nothing has been planned, not even the immediate transfer of files from Calais Hospital to the specialist centres for treatment of fractures, where potentially serious consequences are to be expected. The same can be said for those who need heavy psychiatric treatment, or people undergoing alcohol withdrawal.
As no work has been done in advance by the authorities, people in need of special care have not been identified and it is precisely the most vulnerable people who are most at risk in this both forced and improvised displacement. This is not the instant sorting of people that will be done at the end of the queue of “vulnerable persons” among those that will be recognized as vulnerable and those that will not be that will solve these problems.
The situation is even more striking for isolated foreigner minors. When a child is left to himself without adult legal responsibilty , or he is in a situation in which the family cannot assume parental responsibility, a decision comes so that part of parental authority is entrusted to someone, eg Social Aid for Children. An ad-hoc administrator may be appointed to represent the child in different situations, because the child has no legal capacity. It is for example the ad hoc administrator who deals with OFPRA for the child as part of an application for asylum. It’s part of the protective measures that can be taken when a child is in danger.
Noone, having parental authority can take a child off the street, in a shantytown or elsewhere, put them on a bus and send them to the other end of France, without the authorization of his or her parents. The basis of the operation which will start in a few hours for minor, is totally illegal.
But upstream is the question of who is a minor. The law provides for determining minority from a psycho-social interview, or from bone tests (which all medical bodies say are unreliable, but that’s another debate), as part of the decision to provide shelter. The sorting there will be at the end of the “minor” line therefore has no legal basis, and we realize that we cannot determine in a way as to be reliable if a young person is 17 or 19 in ten minutes at the end of a queue. So there will arrive in the centers for minors (CAO-MIE as in unaccompanied minors) people for whom it is not known if they are minors, it will not have been established by a legal procedure. And in centres for adults minors who have not been recognized as such.
Downstream, the budgets of CAO as determined by the instruction of the June 29th, 2016 provide a framework at least, but which need to be multi competent, and yet do not provide interpreters.
Good luck to the evicted