Calais: Thousands of refugees to be made homeless as mayor pledges to destroy entire camp

Of the 7,000 people currently living in the Jungle, 5,270 are living in the northern section.Reuters

Thousands of refugees living in the so-called Calais 'Jungle' will soon lose their makeshift homes as the northern half of the camp is set to be demolished.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart told journalists on Monday that the remaining half of the camp would soon be dismantled, though no date has yet been given.

"We can't wait any longer, we need to know as soon as possible when and how the Jungle will be torn down," she said.

"It is absolutely urgent for this town, its people and its businesses."

According to Reuters, the Calais prefecture, which would issue the order to demolish the camp, declined to comment on the matter yesterday.

Help Refugees UK, a charity working on the ground in Calais, confirmed that the decision about the future of the camp would come from the prefecture, and said that more information is expected to emerge on Thursday.

"If this information is correct we will need your support more than ever," the charity said in a post to supporters on Facebook.

According to Help Refugees, of the 7,000 people currently living in the Jungle, 5,270 are living in the northern section. Of these, 425 are unaccompanied minors.

The majority have fled war and persecution in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The news follows the demolition of the southern part of the camp in February, when more than 3,400 refugees and migrants were evicted and 129 unaccompanied children were subsequently reported as missing.

Charities working in the camp condemned the demolitions, which turned violent with police using rubber bullets and tear gas. "This is a shocking and a long way away from the humanitarian dismantling of the camp promised by the Minister of the Interior," Help Refugees said at the time.