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The “respite centers”, which have become Centers of Welcoming and Orientation (CAO – see here, here, here and there), initially welcomed exiles from Calais on a voluntary basis and then more marginally Grande-Synthe, near Dunkerque. Then exiles expelled from the Paris camps, under the pressure of an operation of expulsions held by police forces. Then the exiles expelled from the shantytown of Calais and shelters related to it (eg CAP and Jules Ferry Center), following the destruction of the slum and the evacuation of the whole site. Since November 2016, they welcome exiles from the camp set up by the State and the mayor of Paris in Porte de la Chapelle. Their vocation has thus changed, as well as the structure they are part of, and without which their role is not comprehensible.

To better understand this set, the Observatory of the Enclosure of Foreigners (OEE) devoted a public meeting to talk about CAOs on January 30, the audio recording of which is available here (in French):


And video recording here:


Here is the presentation of this evening:

“The founding principle of the OEE is the denunciation of the banalization of administrative detention and the penalization of irregular stay as a mode of management of foreigners.

Administrative detention is most often the final stage in the process of removing undesirable foreigners. With the law of 7 March 2016, the compulsory order of residence is gradually established as a complementary device to the detention centers. Upstream, instruments for identification, monitoring, control and apprehension have been put in place to feed this remoteness device.

Under the guise of “sheltering” the operations of forced dispersion of the Calaisian and Parisian camps were also the privileged support of the deployment of these instruments, intended to keep the migrants “at the hand” of the administration.

CAO, CAOMI, humanitarian centers, etc., all of which are derogatory devices whose stacking favors the sorting, management and control of exiles, the remoteness of which remains the goal.

Pursuing its critical analysis of the confinement process, beyond the places where the deprivation of liberty is physically practiced, the Observatory of the Enclosure of foreigners looks at these new control mechanisms, whose binding modalities and criteria Participate in a policy of management of foreign persons playing on all the registers of coercion.

-all in French-

1 – Introduction (OEE)

Arnaud Veisse – COMEDE

Length: 04:37

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2 – Overview of CAO concerning the dismantlement of the jungle in Calais.

Philippe Wannesson, blog Passeurs d’hospitalités

Length : 23:07

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3 – Analysis of the situation in the CAOMI

Aurélie Guitton, InfoMIE (Resources Center for Foreign Isolated Minors)

Length : 26:41
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4 – The situation in Paris : camps « Hidalgo », back on a derogatory system

Caroline Maillary, Gisti

Length : 31:34 »

The GISTI (Immigrant Support and Information Group), on its part , focused its analysis on the Paris camp, almost four months after its opening, in a statement published on March 2:

Here the original statement from Gisti


“Monitoring, screening, preventing the filing of asylum applications, making invisible and dispersing those who are unwilling or unable to be deported, facilitating detention and referrals to other countries, are goals of a camp which has “humanitarian” only the facade.