The region near the Calais port of France enforced a ban on distributing food to migrants in the centre of the city. In order to protest against it, nearly 300 human rights activists took to streets of the northern French city.
The activists had complete support of about 70 charities. Together, on Saturday, they criticised local officials for failing to provide basic necessities to the migrants who took shelter in and around the city. Earlier on Friday, the top administrative court of France said that it is not going to lift the ban imposed by the local authorities on distributing food to migrants in the Calais city centre. This provoked the activists even more.
But, the officials of Calais argued that the activists were free to help these migrants outside the strictly defined zones. According to them, the city centre ban was essential to maintain public law and order. This ban also helped in maintaining the suggested social distancing measures thereby acting against the spread of coronavirus, they further claimed.
This attitude is not endemic to Calais. In Italy, many local citizens and politicians are blaming these refugees for spreading the viral contagion. Several other European nations also have taken this approach to hide their failure to control the pandemic. Most of these nations are now refusing to accept any more migrants. However, the UN Refugee agency is trying to convince these nations.
In and around the port of Calais, about 1200 migrants have taken shelter. These people are from countries like Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iran. It is believed that most of these migrants have plans to cross the channel and land in the harbors of UK. The UK is witnessing a record number of these migrants entering their country through this channel this year.
In order to cope up with the migrant influx collectively, the EU has asked its member states to launch a common compulsory pact backed by Germany. All the 27 EU member states have to compulsorily join the pact. Under the pact, these countries will either have to take in refugees or make arrangements for them to return home.
The 27 nations will be offered flexible options on how to help in the process. Options, like accepting recent arrivals, sponsoring return of the refugees and providing quick operational support, will be available to the member states. All the 27 countries will also have to provide monetary support to the pact as well. The contribution will be according to a combined average of their population sizes and their GDPs.