France clears last makeshift migrant camp in northern Paris

French police moved another 427 migrants from the last makeshift camp in northeast Paris on 4 February. This clearance marks the end of an effort to dismantle all the informal camps that had spread around the capital in recent years.

Migrants, including four women, were living in 266 tents and makeshift shelters. The camp, situated on the banks of Canal Saint-Denis, was”strewn with waste”, “overrun by rats” and smelled strongly of “urine and excrement,” according to authorities.

Regarding the operation, which lasted two hours, Parisian police said, “the evacuation at the Porte de la Villette puts an end to camps that pose a sanitary risk for the area and a security risk for both occupants and residents.”

Some police officers stayed on the site to stop migrants from coming back to set up another camp there. “We will not repeat an endless cycle of evacuations and relocations,” Paris police chief Didier Lallement said.

The camp residents were relocated to reception centres where their asylum applications will be processed more quickly.

TMP – 13/02/2020

Photo credit: Harriet Hadfield / Shutterstock

Photo caption: PARIS – MAY 5, 2017: Tents pitched in an urban migrant camp on the ring road in northern Paris.