İnsan Kaçakçılığı, Göç ve Lojistik

Calais collaboration focusing on human traffcking

On August 20th the interior ministers of France and Great Britain – Theresa May and Bernard Cazeneuve – issued a statement regarding the immigrant situation in and around Calais. They announced that both countries are committed to closer cooperation to address the problems in Calais in a more structural way. The cooperation goes far beyond security alone in Calais; it is a combination of security measures and adequate policies to actually slow down the flow of illegal immigrants. Britain proposes several measures that would last a period of two years and cost 5 million Euro per year. The cooperation between France and Great Britain is mainly focused on the prevention of organized crime in relation to human trafficking and intensifying returning illegal immigrants to their rightful lands.

Dealing with human traffickers 

Detecting human smugglers and underlying criminal networks is a high priority. Also, there will be more intensive exchanges of information between law enforcement agencies in different countries. The countries will also be working closely together to prosecute the traffickers. Both countries emphasize keeping vulnerable immigrants (such as women and children) out of the hands of human traffickers. The application for asylum should not be accessible to criminals and should only be open to genuine political refugees.

National coordinators
France and Great Britain have both appointed a national coordinator on behalf of the fight against organized immigration crime, a joint command and control center is being set up in Calais as well.

Faster turnaround for asylum applications and more housing
The asylum application procedure now has a faster turnaround to prevent the immigrants from staying too long in Calais and the surrounding area. There are also centers situated a good distance from Calais where the immigrants can await the outcome of their asylum application. These centers have to ensure that large numbers of applicants are not in Calais awaiting a decision on their asylum application.

Cooperating on returning the migrants

Both countries are cooperating in the area of returning the migrants and focusing on increasing the number of illegal immigrants that are sent back to their homeland.

Realistic picture about chances in Great Britain

The statement also specifically mentions the importance of providing clear information about UK asylum policy and the limited opportunities there are to build a better life. The goal here is to create a realistic picture which will hopefully result in catching the flow of immigrants at the source.

TLN has been stressing for months the necessity for a comprehensive approach to the situation in Calais. TLN sees the steps that the British and French cabinet have made as steps in the right direction. The effects will be closely monitored, including less inconvenience to drivers.

British drivers want to see money

The British interest group for the transport sector, FTA, holds Paris responsible for the damage incurred during ‘Operation Stack’, reports the British website

The month of August has been marked by strikes and assaults, and delays and damages to drivers via Calais. All in all, the FTA estimates the damage at £21 million. The following things have not been included in this number: damage to businesses, lost goods like vegetables and fruit and missed deadlines.

President James Hookham: “The FTA is asking the French government to consider compensating English drivers for the damages the companies received during Operation Stack.” The FTA estimates the damages at 750,000 pounds (1,023,848 Euro) per day.