Calais 'Jungle': The week the migrant camp was cleared

French police stand at the entrance of the migrant camp in Calais during the demolition. Image copyright Getty Images

It has been an eventful week but the operation to clear the "Jungle" migrant camp in the French port city of Calais is almost over.

Nearly 6,000 people were evacuated, with more than 1,200 police officers deployed for the clearance operation.

BBC News recaps the dramatic events of the week in pictures.


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The French authorities moved in to start the operation to clear the camp, which had been home to an estimated 8,000 migrants.

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Migrants were registered and bussed to reception centres across France, where they would be allowed to apply for asylum.


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Workers in hard hats and orange jumpsuits began dismantling the "Jungle" with sledgehammers.

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They pulled down unoccupied tents and shacks.

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By the end of the day, about 3,000 migrants had been moved out on coaches to centres across France, while another 1,000 unaccompanied minors were given accommodation in containers near the "Jungle".


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Fires ravaged parts of the camp as the demolition entered its third day.

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French authorities later declared the resettlement operation over but some charities called the announcement premature as there were still migrants roaming the site.

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About 100 unaccompanied minors were left to sleep rough overnight.


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Heavy machines moved in to tear down structures used by remaining migrants for shelter the night before.

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There were still many unaccompanied minors at the site which prompted charities to warn that dozens of children were being exposed to "serious amounts of danger" during the clearance process.


Image copyright Reuters

A number of migrants were still at the deserted Calais "Jungle" camp. At least 80 people, including children, spent a second night in shelters that remained.

Image copyright AFP

Two large fires broke out again in the morning as stranded migrants queued to board a bus leaving for one of the reception centres in France.

Calais police said people refusing to leave would be arrested as the evacuation was due to be completed by the end of the day.

What is the Jungle?

  • The Jungle camp is near the port of Calais and close to the 31-mile Channel Tunnel
  • Officially about 7,000 migrants live in the camp. The Help Refugees agency said the final population ahead of its demolition was 8,143
  • The camp was halved in area earlier this year but the population continued to rise, and reports of violence have increased
  • Many migrants attempt to hide themselves in cargo vehicles entering the Channel Tunnel
  • The area has been hit by protests from both locals and truck operators

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.