The United Nations refugee agency welcomed the announcement by President François Hollande that France will close the informal camp for refugees and migrants in the northern port town of Calais.
Dubbed ‘the Jungle,’ the site, estimated to host some 6,000 people, has been problematic for a number of years, and UNHCR has long recommended its closure.
The camp will be closed in the coming days, according to France, with people there to be moved to centres where better help can be provided.
It is also crucial to pay special attention to the estimated more than 1,200 unaccompanied or separated children in the ‘Jungle,’ whose best interests have to be taken into account, making arrangements such as special reception centres to ensure their safety and welfare when the site is closed.
An additional 20,000 places would ensure that all asylum-seekers and refugees have adequate accommodation while their claims are processed.