It was the disarray that dominated, Tuesday, November 17, after the dismantling of a migrant camp in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), opposite the Stade de France. While the State communicated on the shelter of 3,000 people – including 400 in families -, mainly in gymnasiums in Ile-de-France, several associations warned that hundreds of migrants were still homeless.
“There are at least 700 people [à la rue], estimated Yann Manzi, of the association Utopia 56. The operation was super violent. When the device [de mise à l’abri] was lifted, the police dispersed us with tear gas. “
Several associations joined on Tuesday evening indicated that they were looking for blankets and tents to distribute, while the shelters available to people in the Saint-Denis camp were all evacuated by the police. An administrative official recognized, on condition of anonymity, a “Full mess” and an “Humanitarian operation which turned into a police operation”.
The state services had probably underestimated the needs. If around 2,500 people lived in the camp, according to the latest estimates from France Terre d’Asile (FTDA) – mainly from Afghanistan but also from Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia – rumors of shelters often bring new people to the place, in the hope of being taken care of. Monday evening November 16, some 200 families had notably gone there.
“It would be advisable to organize more regular shelters rather than allowing camps of such magnitude to be set up., responded Delphine Rouilleault, of FTDA. Solutions must now be found quickly. “
The state explained in a press release on Tuesday that the people sheltered would, after the assessment of their administrative situation, be oriented mainly either in the reception system for asylum seekers, or, for the others, in that of common law emergency accommodation, the two systems suffering, however, from being saturated. A report from the Secours Catholique, Utopia 56 and Action contre la Faim associations, published in October, estimates that after the operations to dismantle the camps in the Paris region “45% of people who had access to accommodation benefited from it for less than a month”. Most of them have been returned to the streets. This is particularly the case with “dublinés”, those asylum seekers who have already been registered in another State of the European Union and who therefore lose the right to accommodation. Since 2015, around 65 camp evacuations have taken place in Ile-de-France.