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'Inhumane' Conditions for Refugees in Forgotten French Camp

© Jordi Oliver 'Inhumane' Dunkirk refugee camp
'Inhumane' Dunkirk refugee camp - Sputnik International
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For the past year the media focused on the so-called "Jungle 2" camp in Calais - whether it was the conditions the refugees and migrants were forced to live in or the number of attempts made to escape across the English Channel.

But just a 45-minute drive away and to the east of Calais, the port of Dunkirk has become known as France's "forgotten" camp. Refugees and migrants are forced to live in, squalid, dangerous and unsanitary conditions which — according to aid workers — are even worse than the "Jungle 2" camp.

The town of Grande-Synthe is now home to thousands of refugees and migrants living in tents where severe rain, inadequate shelter and poor living conditions have rendered the camp "inhumane."

"Food is running low, there's a huge problem with rats. It's inhumane," aid worker Maddie Harris from Aid Box Convoy, told reporters.  

​The camp is around 50 miles over the sea from Dover in England and houses around 3000 refugees. But the people do not live in make-shift shelters; they aren't allowed to build them.

© Photo : Jordi OliverDunkirk refugee camp surrounded by mud and puddles.
Dunkirk refugee camp surrounded by mud and puddles. - Sputnik International
Dunkirk refugee camp surrounded by mud and puddles.

According to aid workers and volunteers in the Dunkirk camp, French police are blocking efforts for migrants to build fixed shelters, fearing the camp will expand.

© Photo : Jordi OliverThe camp's inhabitants eat, sleep and live in tents.
The camp's inhabitants eat, sleep and live in tents. - Sputnik International
The camp's inhabitants eat, sleep and live in tents.

At the beginning of January 2016, the Mayor of Grande-Synthe and France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve pledged to "rapidly put in place a solution to provide a humanitarian response to the basic needs of the migrants, and particularly to the vulnerable groups on the site," according to a joint statement.

But after continuous heavy rain, the site is a quagmire with people forced to walk ankle deep through filthy water.

© Photo : Jordi OliverThere are just 20 toilets for the 3000 migrants living in the refugee camp of which 300 are children.
There are just 20 toilets for the 3000 migrants living in the refugee camp of which 300 are children. - Sputnik International
There are just 20 toilets for the 3000 migrants living in the refugee camp of which 300 are children.

There are just 20 toilets for the 3000 migrants living in the refugee camp of which 300 are children.

Many of the nylon tents have been washed away due to the bad weather and volunteers working at the camp say babies are forced to sleep in freezing conditions.

© Photo : Jordi Oliver And still between 50 and 100 new refugees are arriving every day, putting a further strain on the camp's limited resources.
And still between 50 and 100 new refugees are arriving every day, putting a further strain on the camp's limited resources. - Sputnik International
And still between 50 and 100 new refugees are arriving every day, putting a further strain on the camp's limited resources.

It appears Dunkirk won't be forgotten for long; instead becoming infamous for the squalid conditions migrants in France are forced to live in while awaiting assistance from the French state.             

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