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France - Calais

A history of the Jungle in Calais 1999 - 2016 [In pictures]

A young man is wrapped in a blanket as he prepares to spend the night after the dismantlement of the 'Jungle' in Calais, October 27, 2016
A young man is wrapped in a blanket as he prepares to spend the night after the dismantlement of the 'Jungle' in Calais, October 27, 2016 Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

In 1999, the Red Cross opened the first migrants camp in Sangatte, close to the northern city of Calais. In 2002, this camp was closed and a new one called 'the Jungle' was opened in Calais. After months of debate and controversy, the camp was finally demolished and its inhabitants relocated in October 2016.

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Sangatte camp (1999 - 2002)

In 1999, the Red Cross opened the Sangatte camp near Calais, for migrants sleeping rough in and around the northern French city. The camp was closed in 2002 by French Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

19 January 2002 - Refugees stand outside the Red Cross-run Sangatte camp
19 January 2002 - Refugees stand outside the Red Cross-run Sangatte camp AFP/François Lo Presti

10 December 2002 - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy speaks with some of the last refugees of the Sangatte Red Cross centre
10 December 2002 - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy speaks with some of the last refugees of the Sangatte Red Cross centre AFP/Pool/Pascal Rossignol

Sangatte closes, Jungle emerges (2002 - 2009)

Hundreds of mainly Afghan migrants then set up a camp east of Calais, next to a road travelled by lorries heading to the port of Calais. The migrants called it 'the Jungle'.

23 March 2009 - Afghan men prepare their meal in 'the Jungle' in Calais.
23 March 2009 - Afghan men prepare their meal in 'the Jungle' in Calais. AFP/Philippe Huguen

23 April 2009 - Men, mostly from Afghanistan, in 'the Jungle' in Calais
23 April 2009 - Men, mostly from Afghanistan, in 'the Jungle' in Calais AFP/Stéphane de Sakutin

In September 2009, the Jungle was demolished for the first time on the orders of then president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Jungle rebuilt (2015)

Between 2009 and 2015, migrants from Albania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Egypt, Somalia, Ethiopia and Syria arrived in Calais. In early 2015, a settlement named 'the New Jungle' sprouted up near a state-run day centre for migrants established at the site.

4 May 2015 - French Interior Bernard Cazeneuve speaks with migrants as he visits the 'Day centre Jules Ferry', a shelter for migrants in the 'New Jungle'
4 May 2015 - French Interior Bernard Cazeneuve speaks with migrants as he visits the 'Day centre Jules Ferry', a shelter for migrants in the 'New Jungle' AFP/Philippe Huguen

21 October 2015 - A man walks through the 'New Jungle' migrants camp in Calais, where thousands of people live, in the hope of crossing the Channel to Britain.
21 October 2015 - A man walks through the 'New Jungle' migrants camp in Calais, where thousands of people live, in the hope of crossing the Channel to Britain. AFP/Philippe Huguen

Partial demolition, wall starts (2016)

The southern half of the Jungle camp was demolished in late February and early March 2016, sparking protests with Iranian men sewing their mouths shut. The evicted people moved to the northern part of the camp.

2 March 2016 - Iranian men with sewn lips demonstrate during the demolition of the southern part of the 'Jungle' in Calais
2 March 2016 - Iranian men with sewn lips demonstrate during the demolition of the southern part of the 'Jungle' in Calais AFP/Philippe Huguen

Six months later, under pressure at home and from Britain, the French government announced that it would rase the camp and relocate the residents. Meanwhile, lorry drivers and farmers protesting about the ongoing problems created by the camp blocked roads around Calais with their vehicles.

In September 2016, in an attempt to prevent migrants climbing onto trucks that were heading for the UK, the construction of a four-metre (13-foot) high wall - financed by Britain - started along part of the main road leading to the port.

22 September 2016 - Construction workers along a motorway stretch in Calais as work continue to build a wall to secure the approach to the city from migrants trying to reach Britain
22 September 2016 - Construction workers along a motorway stretch in Calais as work continue to build a wall to secure the approach to the city from migrants trying to reach Britain Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

Camp closure (2016)

On September 26, President François Hollande announced that the Jungle would be demolished by the end of the year. And the migrants -- as many as 10,000 according to local associations -- would be moved to shelters called 'Reception and orientation centres' (CAO) around France.

On October 24, residents began evacuating the Jungle, with the first bus carrying about 50 Sudanese nationals.

1,290 isolated foreign minors still live in Calais according to French association France Terre d’Asile (France Land of Asylum).

24 October 2016 - The residents of the Jungle in Calais queue near buses at the start of their evacuation and transfer to shelters in France
24 October 2016 - The residents of the Jungle in Calais queue near buses at the start of their evacuation and transfer to shelters in France Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

25 October 2016 - A woman carrying her child talks to a man during the evacuation of the 'Jungle' camp in Calais
25 October 2016 - A woman carrying her child talks to a man during the evacuation of the 'Jungle' camp in Calais AFP/Philippe Huguen

26 October 2016 - The charred debris from makeshift shelters and tents in the Jungle on the third day of the evacuation of migrants, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais
26 October 2016 - The charred debris from makeshift shelters and tents in the Jungle on the third day of the evacuation of migrants, as part of the dismantlement of the camp in Calais Reuters/Pascal Rossignol

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