Today, as I was reading the news, I have discovered that the beltway is now a refugees camp.
Yes, refugees are sleeping in Paris under the beltway!
So, I write this short post in shame. I was born close to Paris, and was a student in this town for years .
The beltway sounds familiar for me, and the idea that now it has become a precarious refugees camp is a shame for me.
My homeland claims that refugees are welcome, but it’s false. Since the closing of Calais, near the Channel and the UK border, migrants have moved to elsewhere. Like living in hell Migrants in Calais, HRW, July, 26, 2017. Here is a good report by Human Rights Watch on the conditions of life in the “Jungle” of Calais.
In fact, they have moved to anywhere they could find a shelter. Hotels are expensive, so they cannot pay for them. The French State does not provide any help.
At the end of October, on the 31st,begins the winter period: during it , legally, nobody can be expelled from his home, even if he does not pay his rent to the owner of his flat. But this is true only for people with a home. For homeless people, there are night shelters; they are never sufficient.
As a sad consequence, many homeless sleep in hard conditions.
And it’s the case of refugees. There are no official refugees asylum organizations . All migrants are obliged to find an asylum by themselves.
And the fact that now they are sleeping in Paris under the beltway is a shame on my country.
We call us a democracy. France has signed all the International Conventions, especially this on the Rights of Refugees.
So, in reality, we make of these Conventions only words…
I am ashamed, as a Parisian myself, and as a human rights activist.
Even if now, I no more live in Paris, the fact that we are unable to welcome refugees is revolting .
The beltway is made to come from Paris to its suburbs, not to make people sleeping under it! All photos of this post, including this of the header , are property of a Parisian paper, “LeParisien”.
The despair of these people is so great that they have put tents under it.
Their fate depends on voluntaries , belonging to the Red Cross or other organizations, in the best case.
But people helping refugees are often prosecuted by the police.
So, in the worst case, they will be alone in the Parisian winter, under a heavy rain and cold.
If you feel revolted, like me, by this situation, please share on your social networks.
On Twitter, the hashtag is #Refugees Welcome.