France Orders Expulsion From Calais "Jungle"

France Orders Expulsion From Calais "Jungle"France Orders Expulsion From Calais "Jungle"

French authorities are trying to force refugees in Calais to abandon their makeshift camp for more modern state facilities. But celebrities and rights advocates say the state is ill-prepared to house all the people.

Those occupying the southern sector of the camp, often referred to as “the jungle” because it is the most densely populated section, have until Tuesday evening to vacate the premises before it is razed by authorities, AFP reported.

The order comes from the state authority for Calais, which adds that police are authorized to remove anyone still on the premises. Official estimates as to the number of people in the targeted area vary widely–from 800 to 4,000. This section of the camp is replete with cafes, shops and houses of worship.

Many of the refugees in the camp are fleeing civil war and conflict in Syria, Iraqi and Afghanistan but others, from Africa, are fleeing countries with poor human rights records.

French authorities want them to move to nearby heated containers or welcome centers around the country and to reconsider their dreams of reaching Britain on the other side of the English Channel.

But that idea is being countered by Hollywood actor Jude Law and nearly 150 other celebrities, who sent an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, calling on him to open Britain's doors, at least, to the migrant children who have relatives in Britain. The charity, Help Refugees, says there are 440 children living in this section of the camp, 291 of whom are unaccompanied by an adult.