Child in refugee camp at Calais. #Orphan

Cataloguing and Categorising – Clearance of the Calais ‘Jungle’

The Calais ‘Jungle’ clearance in France is presently underway, with violent clashes breaking out intermittently between the police and migrants.

Authorities are clearing the camps and attempting to bring some sense of order to the chaos by registering the (up until now unidentified) refugees in a registration centre.

Processing and organisation of the residents is being implemented by categorising migrants into: families, adults, unaccompanied minors, and vulnerable people.

After all of the migrants have been categorised and catalogued most are found obediently standing in line, in a queue, together with those ‘marked’ to match the class they are assigned.

The fate of these ‘jungle’ residents or, depending on your viewpoint, ‘lost souls’, are purpose-built refugee centres, located throughout France. There are reportedly over 450 of these refugee centres.

The migrants are to be transported to the Centres on one of the numerous coaches which sit waiting on them and which they apprehensively pack on to. On their arrival at these refugee centres the migrants are advised that they will, at this point in their journey, finally be permitted to apply for asylum.

There is so much fear, so much uncertainty, so much desperation, a thick, heartrending sadness in the air. The migrants are uncertain of their destination which compounds the helplessness of their plight.

Many share the common goal of reaching ‘England’, the country they believe will solve all their problems and answer all their prayers. They are determined to not give up on what they call their ‘dream’. Others, the weaker, the more fatigued perhaps, say all they want, for now at least, is a comfortable place to rest, without fear, without danger.

Regardless of their destination today, tomorrow, next week or the cataloguing, categorisation techniques employed, the ‘Jungle’ residents are determined to never give up, to always keep moving. Their will to survive is inspirational, their belief and dedication to finding better is remarkable.

The migrants’ life mantra is perfectly encapsulated in the words of the great Martin Luther King: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”


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