The president of Auberge des Migrants: ” Great Britain and France take responsibility for the shipwreck in the English Channel ”

A mea culpa, not just an indictment of human traffickers. This should be done by the French and British authorities with regard to the drama of illegal immigration unfolding in the English Channel. Thus François Guennoc, president of Auberge des Migrants which has been involved in assisting exiles in Calais since 2008, in an interview with Adnkronos challenges the policy of the French authorities, ” who block the border and force migrants to risk life”. And he points a finger at Great Britain, ” which has interrupted the legal pathways to reach it, including family reunification ”.

Guennoc explains that ” the number of migrants attempting the crossing since 2018 has never stopped increasing. This year, they are more than double compared to 2020. Also because it is much more difficult to cross the border with trucks and other similar vehicles, the controls are very tight ”. The situation “has not changed with the pandemic, nor with Brexit”. The activist explains that ” the people who attempt the crossing are for the most part those who have not been able to obtain asylum through legal channels and their last chance remains to cross the English Channel ”. The shipwrecks ” are certainly not a surprise, with boats on which 40-50 people travel the risk is important ”.

While the authorities are impeaching human traffickers, then, what Guennoc thinks they should do is review their policies. France, for example, “should get out of the Touquet agreements signed by Nicolas Sarkozy”. The agreements date back to 2003, when Sarkozy was Minister of the Interior, and allow the British police to carry out checks on the French side of the English Channel. In London, however, the president of Auberge des Migrants asks for “to increase the chances of reaching Great Britain legally, to restore family reunification, asylum applications”. But not only. The British police, Guennoc hopes, ” must carry out checks in Dover and not in Calais. This would force Britain to take responsibility, to take over the management of the migrant crisis. ”

The activist then makes an appeal to ” continental Europe, it should adopt an effective policy of welcoming migrants and that allows to avoid the repetition of shipwrecks ”. Finally, he calls for an “end to the mistreatment of migrants in Calais, on the coast. Enough of verbal and physical violence, enough of insults ”. Objective for which L’Auberge des Migrants works on the ground, preparing and distributing meals in Calais, providing material obtained through donations and without public subsidies, as stated on the association’s website.