France: Migrants still sleep rough as coronavirus cases surge

Hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers are still sleeping outside amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures in France

Amid warnings from NGOs about the poor sanitation conditions faced by homeless migrants, authorities started to relocate residents of a makeshift camp in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers to hotels and sports centres. More than 700 migrants were evacuated, but hundreds or even thousands of migrants remain on the streets.

The situation is also increasingly challenging for migrants in the north of the country. In Calais, migrants are living in a “profoundly unsanitary situation”, according to BBC’s Fergal Keane. Residents of makeshift camps live in close proximity to one another and have limited access to sanitation facilities and food. Many charities have also had to pause their operations, leaving migrants even more vulnerable.

As of 19 April, France had reported over 150,000 cases of coronavirus, and over 19,000 deaths.



Photo credit: iFocus
Photo caption: PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 4, 2018: A homeless person sleeps under a tent near a public garden on July 4, 2018 in Paris, France.