In a migrant camp near Calais, in August.



A dozen associations of aid to migrants and migrants challenged Friday before the administrative court of Lille the prefectural decree prohibiting them from distributing meals in the city center of Calais, invoking the right to dignity of people assisted but also the principle of fraternity.

On September 10, by decree, the Pas-de-Calais prefecture banned, until the end of the month, any free distribution of drinks and food by associations not mandated by the State in some twenty streets, quays and squares in the city center.

Justifying this measure by the “nuisances” caused by these distributions and by the non-compliance with the social distancing measures which would prevail there, the prefecture stressed that the association La Vie Active, mandated by the State, provided for the needs of migrants and migrants.

"After the evacuation of the jungle (in 2016), the State set up a humanitarian support system", insisted at the hearing the sub-prefect of Calais Michel Tournaire, estimating that the State "ensures fully a certain number of humanitarian duties ”.

Crossings to England have resumed

While the Channel crossings on small boats have grown and attracted new migrants to Calais wishing to reach England, "consequent disturbances to public order and problems of insalubrity" have increased from July, justified the representative of the State.

But for associations, this ban constitutes an insufficiently justified attack on fundamental freedoms.

"We are faced with an obviously political measure, no one is really fooled by the objectives of the prefecture on this subject", denounced their lawyer, Me Patrice Spinosi, believing that the State was seeking to "dry up the city center for fear of the air intake ”.

Relying on the right to dignity of migrants but also the "principle of fraternity", enshrined by the Constitutional Council in July 2018, he deplored that "beyond associations, any inhabitant who would like to help a migrant with (or) achieved humanitarian goals ”.

"It is not because a homeless person would receive the RMI that I do not have the right to distribute a meal to him," he said indignantly.

The decision is expected late Monday or Tuesday.


The prefecture prohibits the distribution of meals to migrants by non-mandated associations


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