Target: Mayor of Calais, France Mme Natacha Bouchart
Goal: To prevent the forced eviction of 40 African migrants in the city of Calais, France.
Authorities in the city of Calais, France plan to evict around 40 African migrants from a squat in the area with little to no prior warning or discussion with the residents. An eviction notice was posted on the door of the unauthorized squat with no translation, and the tenants were told orally in English that they had a week to leave the premise. It is not completely clear as of yet where the migrants originate from, and while the eviction order states that they are believed to be Eritrean, local activists and human rights group claim the squatters are likely from Sudan and Chad. If the planned eviction occurs, it is likely that the migrants will be left homeless and will risk facing detention, or that they will be forcibly returned to their home countries.
While French law allows for these forced evictions when the landlord of the residence is unaware of the inhabitants, international law requires that no person be forcefully evicted without adequate notice, and that migrants and asylum seekers are ensured an effective remedy to their right to adequate housing. It is also required that any migrant seeking asylum be provided with access to fair and satisfactory procedure to do so, and not be subject to “priority” procedure, in which they would be returned to their home country for the duration of the application process.
It is important that the city of Calais, France follow international standards for the fair eviction of migrants, as well as follow set standards for a fair asylum procedure. Sign this petition urging local authorities to halt the planned eviction and ensure that other such evictions are used only as a last resort, when it is possible to ensure that those being forced out will not become homeless and vulnerable to human rights abuses.
The planned eviction of 40 African migrants as it stands now is currently in violation of international law. While eviction can be used as a last ditch effort, it is imperative that those people being evicted are aware of the situation with enough forewarning to attempt to find other solutions. The African migrants currently squatting in Calais were given a posted notice on the door with no translation, and were orally informed of the plans in English. Many of the migrants are believed to be from the war-torn areas of Chad and Sudan, and have so far been offered little in the way of asylum.
That is why we are writing today to urge you to following international legal standards on eviction as a last resort, ensuring that these migrants do not end up homeless, detained, or sent back their country of origin where they face great hardships and reported human rights abuses. We also ask that you provide those migrants that want it with a fair and satisfactory asylum procedure, ensuring that they are not returned to their home countries as a result of “priority” asylum.
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