Container Living

Since the container camp was constructed, migrants have been encouraged to live there. There is electricity, heating, hot and cold water and showers. Until the demolition of the south, the container camp was only about half full, currently though it is full.

There are 125 containers that have been converted to house twelve people each. There is little privacy or space to put personal belongings. Mothers must sleep with children under a certain age, and siblings are expected to share a bunk.

There is a biometric palm print entry and exit system, therefore the people in charge can monitor the activities of each person in the camp. I have been told that if a person stays out all night, they are told to leave, and must then go to the bottom of the queue of those waiting for a space.

The biometric entry system has, of course, recorded the migrants’ details, so if they did get to the UK they could be returned to France under the Dublin III regulation, therefore migrants wanting to come to the UK will not stay in the container camp. The other thing to bear in mind is that when a migrant claims asylum in France they are only entitled to housing once their claim reaches a certain point, and that can take months. The migrant therefore needs to find their own accommodation but has little or no money to support themselves. So some in the container camp are asylum claimants awaiting the outcome of their claim.

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