The French government has suspended plans to evict thousands of refugees living in the ramshackle “Jungle” camp on the outskirts of Calais. This is the vicinity of Calais, France, where migrants live while they attempt to enter the United Kingdom.
As reported by The Independent, the eviction was postponed by French courts after a census carried out by the charity Help Refugees discovered many more refugees were living in the area than authorities had initially calculated.
The charity said there were 3,455 people living in the southern stretch of the Jungle scheduled to be demolished. It is more than three times France’s estimates of between 800 and 1,000. That figure includes 445 children, of whom 315 were living without their parents – that is not to say they are orphans. The youngest child found was a 10-year-old boy from Afghanistan.
An open letter asking David Cameron to “protect the children of Calais” has garnered more than 100,000 signatures at the time of writing. Among the signatories are Idris Elba, Helena Bonham Carter, Benedict Cumberbatch and a number of other high-profile figures, according to The Independent.
The letter states: “This is a humanitarian crisis that needs to be acknowledged as such and it is imperative that we do everything we can to help these innocent and highly vulnerable refugees, especially the minors, as swiftly as is humanly possible”.
Last month, a British judge ordered that three Syrian children and an accompanying adult should be allowed to escape the “living hell” of the Calais refugee camp and enter the UK to join their relatives.