People often ask us the question…where are the women and children?..when talking about the ‘Jungle’ in Calais.
Yes, the camp in Calais is inhabited mostly by men (but there are still too many women and children), for various reasons.
1. There are so many valid issues and reasons why people leave their various home countries. The camp is made up of multiple nationalities and many people come from countries enforcing a compulsory military service. For many, this means kill or be killed, so it is the men that flee this regime.
2. Getting to Calais is fuckingg hard. Think about the distance people have travelled between Eritrea/ Afghanistan/ Sudan etc and France…that’s not easy as a woman or child.
3. It’s also pretty impossible to make it to the UK as a woman or child, as doing so means risking your life across razor wire fencing / train tracks and jumping from bridges. Calais marks the UK border and most people make it here in the hope of continuing the journey to the UK.
4. Culturally many people have told us that families send the man first to see if the journey is safe / doable for the rest of the family.
Anyway….these are just some of the reasons I’m hearing first hand from people in Calais, from my personal experiences chatting to them, but the situation across Europe is varied and complicated and different.
Dan is currently over in Greece. He has been experiencing many more families, young children, babies. The women and children are in danger too, and all these people equally need support.