French NGOs demand legal acess routes to Great Britain for migrants

By agency reporter
January 25, 2019

Following Home Secretary Sajid Javid's recent response to migrants trying to cross the Channel, a group of charities and NGOs in Northern France has released the following statement.

We denounce the decision by the French government to comply with British demands! The boat crossings have been on the front pages of British tabloids for weeks. In this so-called 'migrant crisis', the French government has once more bowed to the demands of the British authorities. The British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced, in fact, on September 30th, jointly with his French counterpart, M Castaner, a strong plan of action on the French coast; more surveillance patrols, actions aiming to disband the trafficking gangs, campaigns to raise awareness amongst migrants to the dangers of crossing the Channel, and the surveillance of beaches and ports by police and drones.

Let us recall the simple facts:

According to figures supplied by Great Britain, 630,000 immigrants are admitted there each year. From this figure, the authorities reckon that 70,000 are illegal, including 15,000 who arrive by lorry, cars or containers. And because 239 arrived by boat since the beginning of November, the British authorities dare to talk about a 'crisis'.

In 2017, Great Britain only registered 26,350 asylum applications (there were 121,200 in France). This was 14 per cent lower than the preceding year, against a French rise of 17 per cent. Great Britain, therefore, accepts fewer and fewer asylum applications.

Already, within the framework of the Le Touquet agreement, France builds the walls and the fences, equips the ports of Dunkirk, Calais, the station of Calais-Fréthum and the Tunnel with cameras, projectors, and more and more elaborate control systems for vehicles. Hundreds of police guard the petrol stations, carparks, roundabouts, and do everything to discourage migrants from staying near the border. It is despair which pushes them to risk their lives.

It is the atrocious survival conditions which the French state imposes on migrants, the refusal to consider their asylum applications, or gross refusal of protection, the police violence, which push the migrants to risk their lives on inflatable boats, for their last chance, England.

In this scenario, will M Castaner agree to further reinforcement of coastal surveillance? In this scenario will migrants be prevented from trying to leave France from the beaches or the ports? Does the Le Touquet agreement extend to the beaches, the promontories, the estuaries and fishing ports?

The aid charities for migrants along the length of the French-British border, seriously protest against these costly measures, which are ridiculous, inhumane and ineffective. They demand the opening of legal routes of access towards Great Britain. It is the only way to avoid the dramas unfolding every night in the freezing waters of the English Channel.

L'Auberge des Migrants

ACC Minorités Visibles

La Cabane Juridique

Flandre Terre Solidaire

Gynécologie Sans Frontières 

Itinérance Cherbourg

MRAP - Littoral dunkerquois 

Secours Catholique Caritas France - Délégation Pas de Calais

Terre d'Errance Flandre Littoral 

Terre d'Errance Norrent-Fontes

Utopia 56  

LDH Dunkerque  

* Independent Catholic News


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