Since 2015, Paris’ refugee camps undergo regular evacuations every few months, supervised by the authorities and monitored by police forces.
The supposed aim is to provide shelter and catalog the asylum-seeking situation of the persons living in the camps, and if they have the right to seek asylum or not. The shelters are only provisory, and people are left to the streets again in a few days or weeks. Every time, a new camp is formed a few weeks later, always further from the city center. The distance from the city renders the situation always more invisible, while the violence is ever more present.
On November 17th 2020, the biggest camp to date in the Paris area was evacuated.
More than 2800 people are living in the camp at the time of the evacuation, among which are 400 women with children. Because of the mismanagement of the authorities, more than 800 people could not be taken to shelters and were left in the streets. For weeks, they underwent police harassment while living destitute. A week later, a protest was staged by the associations and the refugees, which got violently repressed.
The repeated evictions highlight the lack of perennial solution to welcome refugees and asylum seekers in France, and the structural and physical violence that exiled people undergo in Paris.
Without a long-term solution and with the continuation of a politic of hostility, the violence of repetition and invisibilisation continues to question the upholding of human rights in France.