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Paris: a camp under canvas for migrants evacuated from La Chapelle

Ⓒ AFP – PATRICK KOVARIK – | Migrants play soccer in front of tents installed by the
Civil Security on a sports field attached to the Panthéon-Assas
University on August 22, 2017

A camp under canvas to house migrants: the installation, a
first in Paris, did not go unnoticed. But for the evacuees of
La Chapelle, who blow after the shantytown, it is especially
the future that worries, while the government promises a turn
on irregular immigration.

“The first thing I did when I came here was to wash myself,”
says Aboubakar, sitting in the grass where he discusses with
other Sudanese. In this center opened on a university sports
site of the fifteenth arrondissement, about 450 migrants are
housed, of which 200 under twenty white tents of the civil

The other 250 sleep in two gyms. “There are a lot of people”
and “it’s very hot” because of the windows, Aboubakar says. But
no matter: after the “dirt and noise” of the shantytown, “it’s

Ⓒ AFP – PATRICK KOVARIK – | Migrants play soccer in front of tents installed by the
Civil Security on a sports field attached to the Panthéon-Assas
University on August 22, 2017

The installation, temporary, caused to grind teeth. “I have
never been officially warned,” said Mayor LR of the 15th
arrondissement, Philippe Goujon. Nearly 2,500 migrants were
evacuated Friday from wildcat camps set up near the
humanitarian center of the Porte de la Chapelle, during the
35th operation of this type in two years.

“The residents were afraid to see a camp settled in the long
term,” said Nicolas Hue, the site manager for the association
Aurore, who took the time to “deminer”. “The site will be
released at the end of next week” and “there will be a perfect
restoration”, assured Tuesday the regional prefect, Michel

For migrants, in tents, experience may paradoxically prove
to be “more comfortable than gymnasiums” by heavy heat, says
Hue, who points out that we are far from the disaster images
associated with the tents of the Civil Security .

Showers, water points, meals three times a day … “we also
boosted the wi-fi network, essential for migrants since it is
their connection to the world,” explains Hue.

Between the Hausmannian facades which border the stadium, a
part of football improvise on the race tracks. A group of
Sudanese are discussing on a high jumping mat. A man does his
laundry at the tap.

– “Willingness to sort” –

But behind apparent languor, the same anxiety returns.
“We’re going to take us to the prefecture, take our prints, and
then?” Worries Sohan, a 24-year-old Afghan. “I have my
fingerprints in Germany but I do not want to go back, it’s been
a year since I’m in France,” he says.

Ⓒ AFP – PATRICK KOVARIK – | Migrants near a future migrant camp on a sports field
attached to the Panthéon-Assas University on 22 August

Migrants registered in another European country must
theoretically be transferred there for their asylum application
under the complex Dublin procedure.

A month ago, Emmanuel Macron demanded “from the first
minute, an administrative treatment which will determine
whether one can go to a request for asylum or not, and behind a
true policy of deportation to the borders” for the moment
“Completely ineffective”.

The dublinés, “it is normal that they are hosted and
followed in their country of entry” but the rejected “must
return to their host country,” said Mr. Cadot.

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – Bertrand GUAY – | Migrants evacuated from a camp Porte de la Chapelle in
Paris on 18 August 2017

This presupposes an orientation of the migrants all the
faster that it is necessary to free the gyms for the re-entry.
On the associations side, logic worries.

“There is a desire to sort out the public,” said Aurélie El
Hassak-Marzorati, deputy director of Emmaus Solidarity, which
runs the humanitarian center at the Porte de La Chapelle. But
“if tomorrow there are referrals of rejected from the shelter,
Emmaus solidarity can not continue in the device,” she

Others see this evacuation as “proof by the absurd” that
other humanitarian centers are needed. “The camp under linen is
a transit center that does exactly the same as La Chapelle,”
said Pierre Henry, general manager of France land of asylum,
who wants to “take Emmanuel Macron at the word.”

“If he does not want anyone in the
street by the end of 2017, we must open other reception centers
elsewhere in France,” he said.

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