Asylum seekers and migrants living in destitution in the port city of Calais experience harassment and abuse at the hands of French police, according to Human Rights Watch. The abuses described to Human Rights Watch include beatings and attacks with pepper spray as the migrants and asylum seekers walked in the street or hid in trucks in the hope of traveling to the United Kingdom.
Several thousand asylum seekers and migrants, most from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, are living in makeshift camps or in the streets in Calais. Some said that their treatment by police, a lack of housing for asylum seekers, and delays in the French asylum system had deterred them from seeking asylum in France.
“Asylum seekers and migrants shouldn’t have to face police violence in France, and no one who applies for asylum should be left to live in the street,” said Izza Leghtas, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Providing adequate reception conditions and humane treatment for asylum seekers isn’t only a matter of meeting legal obligations, it is also the right thing to do to help end the limbo for many asylum seekers in Calais.”
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