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    A view shows tents at a makeshift camp on a street where Ehab Ali Naser, a 23 year-old Syrian refugee, lives, in northern Paris, France, September 16, 2015.

    'Humanitarian' Refugee Camps to Open in Paris Angering Residents

    © REUTERS / Eric Gaillard
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    Paris is to open two new refugee camps at the end of September after riot police destroyed the many make-shift camps around the capital.

    Mayor Anne Hidalgo told French Inter radio that "two migrant camps, one for men only, and one for women and children," will be built in the north-east of Paris "near Garde du Nord and boulevard de la Chapelle." These areas are already home to make-shift migrant camps which are frequently destroyed by the authorities.

    ​Around 80 to 100 new refugees and migrants arrive in Paris every day, according to the city's mayor, who says many of them head onto Calais in their attempt to reach the UK.

    Earlier this year, riot police were called in to clear an unofficial migrant camp near a Stalingrad metro station in Paris, after violence and deteriorating living conditions were reported by the media. The camp's 1,000 or so migrants — mainly from Sudan and Afghanistan — were expected to claim for asylum in France.

    "Those who do not request asylum or who behave badly will be expelled," Jean-Francois Carenco, prefect of the Ile de France told reporters at the time.

    ​Another unofficial migrant camp that became home to 2,500 refugees has recently sprung up beneath the tracks of Jaures metro station. The camp was also cleared by riot police.

    Lack of integration has been cited as a reason for growing tensions between ethnic groups in Paris. A recent study by the National Institute for demographic studies (INED) and the National Statistics Institute (INSEE) revealed that France is still struggling to integrate its immigrant population.

    Recent terrorist attacks in Paris were carried out by young men who had grown up in France — but whose parents came from North or West Africa.

    "Integration is a one-way street," author of the study Chris Beauchemin said suggesting that despite immigrants wanting to be a part of French society — they are always regarded as foreign and continue to suffer discrimination.

    Beauchemin looked at 22,000 case studies that showed that second generation immigrants in France often fared less well than the first generation.

    The exact locations and dates for the two new "humanitarian" camps are yet to be officially confirmed, while the spotlight remains on France and its efforts to integrate refugees and migrants.

    However, Parisians have already reacted angrily to the new camps, as two wooden buildings were erected next to the Bois de Boulogne, where many homes are worth US$ 4.0 million each.

    ​More than 50,000 people have already signed a petition calling for the units to be destroyed and it's expected the camp to house men near the Gare du Nord metro station will be met with equal hostility by residents who are concerned the refugees' numbers could swell. 

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    Tags:
    migrant camp, refugee camp, asylum seekers, riot police, Anne Hidalgo, Calais, Paris, United Kingdom, France
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