11:25 GMT +322 October 2017
    Syrian refugees wander around a refugee camp in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Friday, June 19, 2015

    France Builds 1st Refugee Camp Since 2002 at ‘Jumping-off Point’ for UK

    © AP Photo/ Emrah Gurel
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1816)

    France will build a refugee camp near the port city of Dunkirk, the old main seaway to the UK, to the consternation of British politicians.

    The camp, near the small town of Grande-Synth in northern France, will be located 5 miles from the UK-bound port, and will be the first to be constructed since 2002.

    The new refugee camp, scheduled for launch in late January, is intended to accommodate at least 3,000 mostly Kurdish refugees currently living outside in Grande-Synth in unhealthful conditions, Le Figaro reported.

    “The NGOs tell me they have never seen anything like it, even in countries at war!” Damien Carême, the mayor of Grande-Synthe, was quoted as saying by Le Figaro about the current makeshift tent camp. “This camp is inhumane.”

    ​The international charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is to aid the construction of a new regular refugee camp with 5-person heated tents, resembling those built in conflict zones, and estimated to cost France over €1 million, according to Le Monde.

    Situated just 50 miles from the British coast, the encampment is anticipated to attract thousands of additional migrants attempting to reach Britain.

    ​Conservative politicians in the UK have expressed concern over the construction of the camp near Dunkirk.

    “If they [French] are genuine about looking after refugees than it needs to be at their point of entry rather than as a jumping-off point for the UK, where they have no right of abode,” Tim Loughton, a Conservative MP and member of the Commons’ home affairs select committee, commented to Telegraph. “This sends out an unhelpful signal to more people who are led to believe – often by illegal traffickers — that the streets of Britain are paved with gold.”

    In a special agreement with the French — known as the Sangatte and Le Touquet treaties — the UK Border Agency processes migrant applications on French soil. As a result, if they are refused permission to travel to the UK by train or ferry, they typically remain in France.

    The nearby French port city of Calais, currently hosting thousands of refugees in its so-called Jungle refugee camp, has seen tens of thousands of attempts by refugees to cross the Channel Tunnel to the United Kingdom in recent months, resulting in 23 deaths as well as widespread freight and passenger traffic disruption.

    According to the UN refugee body and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), some one-million migrants and refugees reached Europe in 2015.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1816)


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    migration, Kurds, kurds, construction, migrants, refugee, refugee camp, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), English Channel, Britain, France, Calais, Dunkirk
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