Desperate measures

Number of women and children rising at Calais migrant camps

Women and children at the makeshift church in "The New Jungle" near Calais, France. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The migrant camps at Calais, a port town in northern France, have seen an influx of women and children who are not being taken care of by authorities. Jean-François Corty, the director of French operations for Médecins du Monde, runs a clinic at the camp and claims that most newcomers have historically been males between the ages of 15 and 30. Recently, there’s been an increase in women and children, but the shift is not obvious to authorities as most women choose to travel at night due to the extra dangers that they face making the journey. According to Corty, there needs to be an improvement in the shelter offered to women. There is one camp, The Jules Ferry Centre for women and children, but there is not enough space for the growing numbers of migrants trying to cross the English Channel. The journey is seen to be more dangerous for women, and many try to join their husbands, particularly when they become pregnant. Deaths have apparently risen this year, with about 15 reported, as opposed to 10 in 2014. The migrants, often coming from Africa and the Middle East, are often seriously injured by failed attempts to cross the border and there are diseases spreading around the camps as a result of the slum-like conditions. Corty does not believe that the security measures suggested will be enough to deter the migrants and that there needs to be a discussion on a European level to tackle their desperation.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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