Mayor of Paris demands a Humanitarian Camp

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, announced that a refugee camp respecting international norms will open in the French capital

June 03rd, 2016

According to Anne Hidalgo, it is no longer permissible to allow makeshift camps with terrible health conditions to be located in Paris. The objective is to avoid a similar situation to that of the infamous Calais Jungle. In order to replace these structures, and to provide better living conditions for the refugees, she has proposed the creation of a humanitarian camp according to UN norms in the North of Paris.

For three weeks, 900 migrants have been living under tarps and tents in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. “We can no longer accept the humanitarian and health conditions of the makeshift camps that are developing in Paris”, declared the mayor of Paris in a press conference on May 31st. “Today, Europe is not facing up to the humanitarian crisis of these refugees. Nor is our own country. We have a humanism duty”, stated Anne Hidalgo. The left-wing mayor wants the French capital be the example for the rest of the country. “Paris will not sit idly by while the Mediterranean becomes a graveyard for refugees”.

In order to create the appropriate conditions to welcome the refugees, Anne Hidalgo wants to create a humanitarian camp meeting the standards of the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR. For now, the first camp is to be established in the North of Paris, but if the numbers of refugees in Paris continues to rise, and it becomes necessary to create more camps, the French capital will do so. It is time that the authorities take the situation into their hands, because “makeshift camps offer undignified conditions both for migrants and refugees but also create unacceptable conditions for local residents”, declared Anne Hidalgo. The aim is to open the camp within the next month and a half.

With this announcement, the City of Paris wants to take the lead in the issue and become a “shelter city”. Anne Hidalgo “hopes that the State will be a partner” to this operation. So far, the State only reacted by saying that Mme Hidalgo is acting according to her power as mayor.

The statement of the mayor of Paris comes just after the UNHCR said that at least 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2016. The International Organization for Migration deems that 1,000 people have died in the past 6 days. 20 to 60 migrants arrive each day in Paris.



Cultural Diplomacy News
Gaspard Fontaine, CD News