France breaks 200 human-smuggling networks down in 2015

French Interior Minister Cazeneuve says France breaks nearly 200 human-trafficking networks down since beginning of 2015

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Thousands of refugees are based at the "New Jungle" camp in Calais, in the hope of crossing the Channel from northern France to Britain

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said France broke down nearly 200 human-trafficking networks since the beginning of the year, including around 30 in the northern Calais region where thousands of refugees try to cross to Britain daily.

"In France, nearly 200 networks have been dismantled and 3,000 individuals were detained. In the Calais region alone, it's around 30 networks involving 700 individuals," he said, adding that any French citizens involved in human trafficking should be "severely punished."

French port city of Calais has been one of the hotsposts on the refugee crisis in Europe. Thousands of refugees have moved to Calais to cross the Channel Tunnel to reach UK. 

Approximately 6,000 people in a makeshift camp in Calais, usually called as the ‘’Jungle,’’ live in terrible conditions, where 16 people have already died due to cold weather, getting hit by cars or falling off trucks.

A migrant stands next to a dwelling with a sign reading "this is not a housing solution" at "the jungle", a makeshift tent village in Calais, northern France .

Head of Medecins du Monde in France, Jean-Francois Corty told Anadolu Agency, “They don't have access to the basic vital needs such as food, water or stable housing.”

He said “What authorities are offering today is largely insufficient and is not up to what these people need to survive. We already condemned this several times since last year.”

He said families from conflict zones such as Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan and South Sudan were now living in “life-threatening” conditions in the camp 10 kilometres (6 miles) from Calais.

He describes conditions in the site as “horrifying”, Corty said Medecins du Monde had installed facilities similar to those they place in warzones and disaster areas. “We have no governmental support whatsoever,” he said.

He added that “now, as the winter is coming, the situation is worsening. With the cold, mud and humidity the refugees are more and more exposed to attract diseases. The sanitary situation is a disaster.’’

Mady Denantes, a doctor working for Medecins du Monde, said sanitary conditions at the "Jungle" were “worse than in a country at war."

Early in November, Britain and France agree to strengthen ties in order to stop human-trafficking networks and unregistered refugees as they signed an agreement to increase cross-border cooperation.

Also French government announced its plan to build a camp with EU assistance but for just 1,500 refugees.

Plan is scheduled to be started next year and will be funded with 5 million euro. It will consist of 120 tents, capable of housing 12 people each.

The head of Pas-de-Calais department, Fabienne Buccio said, "I do not know what comes next, but 6,000 is a maximum."

TRTWorld and agencies