About The Situation
The UK's juxtaposed border arrangements and increased security measures have created a ‘bottle-neck’ scenario in Northern France, whereby the hostile climate appears to deter prospective asylum seekers from wanting to stay in France, with liminal and precarious conditions acting as a strong impetuous for people to try and get to the UK at any cost. Yet at the same time the same border security arrangements further diminish people's ability to reach the UK safely. The conditions in Northern France, which are currently characterised by precarity, police violence (including the regular use of tear gas, intimidation tactics and sleep deprivation) detention, and the obstruction and criminalisation of aid, must be replaced by humane reception conditions for prospective asylum seekers.
In Northern France, we are focusing specifically on bringing about safe, appropriate and unconditional accommodation, access to legal information and aid, as well as enhanced access to the asylum system for those who are open to claiming asylum in France. On the UK side of the situation, we are calling for new, safe ways to apply for UK asylum at the border. Moreover, we are working collaboratively with grassroots organisations to ensure increased support and protection for women and girls, including but not limited to provision of sexual and reproductive health and rights services, as well as safeguarding systems.
In the context of COVID-19, our call for appropriate accommodation, sanitation and medical care are prioritised and amplified, alongside partners.