Last Wednesday, departure of the minors from the container camp that the french government had decided to create to house the underage nearby the shantytown , now destroyed. Where the slum once stood the excavators are clearing away the last remains, taken away by trucks that they cross on their way the buses arriving to take away the minors to a destination that they do not know or that they have not understood. In each bus, two people with a high-visibility vest with “UK OFFICIAL” written on it are here to appease and to lure them with the hope of a legal passage to the United Kingdom. But we don’t really see who might be there in these centers to help them contest a possible negative answer, to help them assert their rights.
The association, that manages both the container camp for the minors and the nearby place where women and children are set aside a few hundred meters away, realized in the middle of the morning that the two places were not two completely isolated worlds, that there can be a sister here, a brother there, the mother and smaller children in Jules Ferry and the adolescent son in the containers, or a husband somewhere in the nearby bushes -since the shantytown has been destroyed. A new dimension of the chaos of this accelerated eviction. It is easy to forget certain human details when logistics are set up to evict 1800 people in 8 hours 30 minutes- so solutions to this problem should be found before sunset.
But beyond this, remains the fact that this displacement of underage people is carried out out of any legality, as was their accommodation in the container camp, just as their accommodation will be in the ‘Centre d’Accueil et d’Orientation pour Mineurs Etrangers Isoles’ (reception and orientation centers for unaccompanied foreign minors) where they are being taken.
The high court of Boulogne sur Mer has therefore been summoned, and the case will take place on Thursday 3rd November at 9h30.
Here is the statement that follows this appeal:
“Dispersal of the unaccompanied minors of the ‘jungle'”: the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais brought before the high court of justice
Since this morning the underage people cooped up together in the CAP (temporary center of reception) of the ‘jungle’ of Calais have been transferred in buses to centers spread all around France. This operation, that aims at finally wiping out any migrant presence from the site “de la Lande”, is organised in an atmosphere of tension and precipitation that shows a great distance from the official announcements of this last week that want to give an impression of an “humanitarian operation” that would be carried out “in the best conditions”.
This dispersal in improvised places not adapted for welcoming underage people, which was decided by the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais without coordination with the judicial authorities nor with the social services for underage people, amounts to getting rid of the “problem” by putting particularly vulnerable underage people in a situation that might become even more precarious and dangerous than the present one.
This is why the ADDE (Lawyers for the Defense of the Rights of Strangers), the SAF (Syndicate of Lawyers of France) and the GISTI (Group of Information and Support of Immigrants) have asked for an authorization of subpoena of the prefecture with an emergency writ of summons at short notice to the high court of Boulogne sur Mer, in order to cease the displacement of children out of any legal structure. The president of the high court has scheduled the case for Thursday, November 3, at 9h30.
See also (all in French) :
- Statement of 23 october 2016, Minors of Calais : « sortis de la boue, mais pas de l’arbitraire », Gisti
- Open letter of the Judicial Authorities Trade Union to Jean-Jacques Urvoas, 24 octobre 2016 « Evacuation de la « Jungle » de Calais, un millier de mineurs isolés étrangers orientés hors du cadre de la protection de l’enfance »
 See also the recommendation of that day of the UN human rights council for children, who estimates that “The Governments of France and the UK fell seriously short of their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child” »