Migrants: in Calais, some associations denounce the unequal treatment of refugees

Audio 01:11

A migrant camp in Calais on November 27, 2021 (illustrative image).

AP - Rafael Yaghobzadeh

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

More and more Ukrainians have left their country for another European country.

For those seeking to join their relatives in England, a difficulty has stood in their way, the need to obtain a visa.

Several hundred of these refugees therefore found themselves stuck in Calais, where they were immediately welcomed by the local authorities.

A treatment different from that reserved for years for refugees coming from other countries at war.


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On the outskirts of


, there are hundreds of them flocking in clusters to a food aid distribution point where they take their turn in a long line, only a few meters from a supermarket, but very far from the hostel in youth open to Ukrainian refugees on the waterfront for a few days.

A difference in treatment between refugees from


, those from Afghanistan, Syria or even Somalia according to certain migrant aid associations.

There, what we saw with the Ukrainians, it is really a remarkable demonstration of humanism and welcome and what is quite funny is that what is put in place today for the Ukrainians , this is what we have been defending for years without ever being heard,

explains William Feuillard of the association Auberge des migrants


The opening of the youth hostel in Calais, the welcome by the sea, it's fascinating, it's great!

On the other hand, now it might also be time to oust the double standards in fact from the approach, the difference in treatment.

Here, we are in Calais, and the exiles, finally everyone realizes it.


This morning, 13 #evictions took place in #Calais.

While @GDarmanin calls on the UK to welcome Ukrainians in exile, other #exiles remain stranded at the #border, harassed daily, their tents seized.

The double standard of migration policies.

— Human Rights Observers (@HumanRightsObs) March 8, 2022

Differential treatment linked to the number of refugees

A difference in treatment that the mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, begins by refuting: “ 

There is no difference in treatment, when you receive 150 or 200 people, even 300, things go well.

When you get to 10,000, things don't go so well, especially in a community with 75,000 inhabitants, so you also have to have a double standard. 


A weight, two measures therefore, but which would only be linked to the number of refugees, not to their origin.

To read: War in Ukraine: EU grants “temporary protection” to refugees


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