Calais refugees persist with efforts to enter UK

Refugees in France’s Calais continue to take life-threatening risks to reach Britain

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An aerial view of a field called the "New Jungle" with tents and makeshift shelters where asylum seekers stay, is seen in Calais, France, October 1, 2015.

Refugees in the French port city of Calais are continuing to hold out in hope of reaching Britain, as temperatures drop and talks between ministers of EU member states on the European refugee crisis enter their second day.

Many people are living in tents and shanty-like structures in Calais, in a makeshift camp which is sometimes referred to as the  “Jungle.”

Ibrahim, a 25 year old Iraqi refugee, has made a home for his wife and two children here and they are living in a caravan.

"It's slowly, slowly starting to become colder and I don't know what are their plans, these people, because if it starts snowing, most of the people, they're going to start coughing and getting sick and probably dying in that jungle," he said.

Iraqi migrants Ibrahim and Ashty and their children Mandy (L) and Muhammad (R) pose outside their caravan in the 'New Jungle' make-shift camp as unseasonably cool temperatures arrive in Calais, October 15, 2015.

Kazhan, a Kurdish refugee, said “It’s very cold so we sleep with our clothes and raincoats. We stay in our tents with sleeping bags and blankets. So many people are getting a cold."

Some of the refugees attempt to cross the Channel Tunnel on foot while others try to get into the back of lorries that are going to Britain, both of which risk their lives.

French gendarmes evacuate refugees who are trying to reach Britain from a truck on the highway in Calais, October 15, 2015.

A refugee died on Thursday night or early Friday morning after a freight train hit them while they were trying to pass through the Tunnel.

The firefighters were unable to immediately discern the gender, age or ethnicity of the deceased due to the force of the crash.

This was the 16th person to lose their life in or near the tunnel since June. Several of those were either run over by the train or electrocuted by the rails. Other refugees have lost their lives due to being hit by cars or falling from lorries.

A man from Syria lost his life after he was hit by a car on a motorway in Calais on Thursday.

France and the UK signed a deal to increase security measures around the Eurotunnel earlier in August.

The UK has intensified security measures, such as by erecting fences on the French side of the tunnel intended to prevent refugees getting onto platforms and trains.

The French Government said in August that it has plans to build camp for the winter for as many as 1,500 refugees in Calais, where there are up to 6,000 people, Pas-de-Calais department prefect Fabienne Buccio said on Friday.

She said, "I do not know what comes next, but 6,000 is a maximum."

TRTWorld and agencies