The blocked road to England : 1500 refugees stuck in Calais (France)

Collection with 30 media items created by Steven Wassenaar

France 08 Oct 2014 00:00

In the small city of Calais, some 1500 refugees survive with little or no money, living in tents and receiving one free meal a day from local NGOs. Because of tougher security, the road to England is blocked. Desperate refugees storm trucks in the port, hoping they will take a ferry to England. The chances of succeeding are marginal, however, as all the trucks are checked three times before reaching England.

Migrants from Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan share a vulnerable condition in a town that feels it can't handle the situation much longer. Police violence (beatings, tear gas) is often reported but hard to prove, and hundreds of refugees are living in improvised tent camps without water, sanitation or medical aid.

Refugee Calais France Migrant Immigration Immigrant Refugees

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Calais refugees 01
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais try to climb into trucks going to England by ferry. The chance that they will succeed is very low. There are about 1500 migrants from Sudan, Eritrea, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Iran in Calais. The pressure on the migrants, the truck drivers, the police, NGO's and local residents is growing by the day.

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Calais refugees 02
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais try to climb onto the back of a truck going to England by ferry.

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Calais refugees 03
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

The truck driver is powerless in front of scores of migrants. For migrants in the French port of Calais, reaching England is an obsession.They are willing to take any risks to get there, despite heavy security at the crossing.

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Calais refugees 04
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

A migrant family tries to board a truck with their child near the port of Calais.

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Calais refugees 06
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants walk along railroad tracks in the French port of Calais.

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Calais refugees 05
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais try to climb into trucks going to England by ferry. The chance that they will succeed is very low.

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Calais refugees 07
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais are chased from the port by border police.

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Calais refugees 08
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais are chased from the port by border police.

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Calais refugees 09
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Rahman came to Calais from Afghanistan in 2009. He was able to stay after obtaining refugee status, and now works for a local NGO providing 800 meals a day for migrants in Calais.

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Calais refugees 10
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Rahman (M) from Afghanistan, distributes food to migrants alongside fellow aid workers from a local NGO in Calais, France.

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Calais refugees 11
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
06 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais wait in a line to get food from NGOs.

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Calais refugees 12
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais wait in a line to get food from NGOs who provide 800 meals a day.

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Calais refugees 13
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais wait in a line to get some food from NGOs.

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Calais refugees 14
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais wait in a line to get food from local NGOs.

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Calais refugees 15
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
06 Oct 2014

Scraps of food and plastic left where NGOs distribute food to over 800 migrants a day in the French port of Calais.

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Calais refugees 16
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
06 Oct 2014

Aladin, 16, from Eritrea, eats a free meal. He says the police hit him with their sticks and broke his arm when he was walking on the road at 1 a clock at night.

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Calais refugees 17
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
06 Oct 2014

Aladin, 16, from Eritrea stands before his tent made of plastic and branches.

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Calais refugees 18
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

A migrant in the French port of Calais said the police threw him on the pavement, and he got hurt. Though many migrants have stories and scars like this man, there are very few verified reports of police beatings.

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Calais refugees 19
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
06 Oct 2014

A migrant shows traces of what he says was police violence. He says the police hit him with their sticks.

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Calais refugees 20
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Migrants are camping in the French port of Calais and have created a shelter under the porch of a building.

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Calais refugees 21
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Migrants set up a place to camp for the night under a highway overpass near the port in Calais.

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Calais refugees 22
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants have created a shelter in a former sports facility.

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Calais refugees 23
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
08 Oct 2014

Migrants in the French port of Calais have created a shelter in a former sports facility.

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Calais refugees 24
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Migrants from Sudan have created camp for 400 on an abandoned building site near the port of Calais.

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Calais refugees 25
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Migrants from Sudan are camping in the French port of Calais and have created a camp for 400 on an abandoned building site. Almost all of them will try to go to England.

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Calais refugees 26
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Mohammed, 30, arrived in Calais two months ago. He came from Darfour, where he lived in the Zam Zam refugee camp. After 3 months in Libya, he crossed by sea to Italy. He wants a better life in England.

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Calais refugees 27
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Mohammed, 30, arrived in Calais two months ago. He came from Darfour, where he lived in the Zam Zam refugee camp. After 3 months in Libya, he crossed by sea to Italy. He wants a better life in England.

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Calais refugees 28
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
06 Oct 2014

Migrants from Sudan try to warm over a fire. They are camping in the French port of Calais where they have created a camp for 400 on an abandoned sports facility.

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Calais refugees 29
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
07 Oct 2014

Elmuz Nureldeen, 34, came from Darfur where he worked for many NGO's. He's been living in a squat in Calais for the last two months after obtaining refugee status.

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Calais refugees 30
Calais, France
By Steven Wassenaar
06 Oct 2014

Majuol, 27, .arrived to Italy from South Sudan on September 9, 2014. He's been in Calais for just over a week; he does not know if life in England is better, but he has to go on.