French police evacuated a camp of about 354 migrants on the outskirts of Paris on Wednesday. The authorities said this was the 15th such operation since the beginning of 2022.
A migrant camp in Paris along the banks of the Ourcq Canal on the outskirts of the French capital was evacuated on Wednesday, September 28. The camp, which was in Paris' 19th arrondissement or quarter, was populated exclusively by single men, the Paris police told the French broadcaster France Bleu.
The men who had been staying in the camp were "taken in by the state and its partners," stated the police prefecture in a press release seen by France Bleu. According to the police figures, 264 men were distributed among centers in the Ile-de-France area, and 90 in the wider region around Paris.
The evacuation began at about 7am, reported France Bleu. Things went "smoothly" reported the police, saying that the camp which was along the banks of the canal could pose a danger to those camping there, as it was so near the water. Sanitary conditions there were also problematic, stated the prefecture.
15th operation this year
So far this year, the prefecture says it has carried out 15 such operations and offered accommodation places to about 4,015 people. However, many of the camps reform in or near the place where they were cleared soon after.
According to the German news agency dpa, the men had been staying at the camp for several months. Dpa added that an outbreak of scabies had been reported at the camp.
The French organization Utopia 56 which works with migrants throughout France, posted a picture of another camp under the bridges between Pantin and Paris on September 27. A few tents were present, but several of the people appeared to be sleeping just in sleeping bags on thin pieces of cardboard on the floor. Lights from nearby buildings also illuminated the area even during the night.
'The cold has already arrived'
Utopia 56 said that "the cold had already arrived" and many of the camp's inhabitants were "already ill." They said the government’s strategy of dealing with the migrants was "unacceptable" and called on the authorities not to abandon these people to the street.
Last Friday, Paris police cleared another encampment on Place de la Bastille in the center of Paris. The medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) tweeted on September 26 that they were also calling on the French authorities to offer a more permanent solution than just camp clearances, following that camp clearance and the evacuation of 50 young migrants in Marseille last week.
On Friday, Utopia 56 claimed that the French authorities were using camp clearances for sanitary reasons as an excuse to move the migrants away from Paris and thus delay their judicial processes which had already begun in the French capital.
The young migrants on Place de la Bastille had been present there for 119 days, said Utopia 56 before they were moved on.