Between 20 April and 12 May, three eviction orders were posted in Calais, in the Dunes industrial zone; two were written only in French, the other in French and English, although these languages are not fully understood by the people living there. These orders are not an exception in Calais, they are added to all those adopted since March 2019: 11 times, the same judge has ordered the eviction of living sites in Calais by this means.

The ordonnance sur requête procedure is used by landlords to urgently request the eviction of land occupants. The decision is taken by a judge, after only presenting the owner’s evidence. Without being summoned to appear before the judge, the inhabitants of the premises concerned have not had the opportunity to present their defence before the order is passed. Even though the rights of defence, as part of the right to a fair trial, are among the fundamental rights to which French justice must adhere. They are guaranteed by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and by the French Constitution. The very procedure of the ordonnance sur requête violates the right to a fair trial, contrary to the prescriptions of the European Court of Human Rights.

This type of eviction is nothing more than the continuation of the government’s policy of fighting against the points of fixation: “we have been dismantling them for 4 years, motivated by the observation of illegal occupations of other people’s land”, stated the public prosecutor of Boulogne sur Mer in response to an association’s questioning1.

This struggle is reflected in the violence exercised against displaced people, including daily evictions from various living areas in Calais and Marck. As an illustration of this harassment, the inhabitants of several living sires targeted by these orders on request are already being evicted every 48 hours, without any coherent legal basis. These regular evictions continue despite the confinement and are totally inconsistent with the current health context. The current situation in which these people are left in all the camps in Calais constitutes a serious breach of the recommended emergency sanitary instructions; but also an attack on human dignity and the safety of others.

With these eviction orders, the French justice system is once again corroborating the incessant harassment of displaced persons. These evictions are a vector of physical and mental exhaustion for these people, and contribute to the policy of non-reception that is reserved for them.

The living sites of people in transit are increasingly restricted, as land evicted on the basis of a court order is fenced off and can no longer be inhabited. The eviction on 12 May2 is a case in point. While we strongly disagree with allowing people to live in indignity, we feel it is essential to warn that yet another eviction will not improve the situation of these people. The people who are going to be evicted will be condemned once again to being on the move. As opposed to a purely repressive policy, the State must find a dignified and sustainable solution in the interest of displaced people but also of all the inhabitants of Calais.

This is why we join the people affected by these orders, who demand:

  • an end to the daily evictions and police violence against them
  • the opening of safe and legal channels of movement within the European Union, which requires the end of the Le Touquet agreements and the denunciation of the Dublin III regulation
Signatory Organisations

Auberge des Migrants
Cabane Juridique
Collective Aid
Help Refugees
Human Rights Observers Refugee Info Bus
Refugee Rights Europe
Refugee Youth Service
Salam Nord/Pas-de-Calais
Secours Catholique Pas-de-Calais
Utopia 56 Calais


1 “Despite the confinement, the dismantling of migrant camps continues in Calais”, France 3 régions, 20/03/20: lSltjVfQPZCkjM
2 “Calais, a hundred migrants expelled from a camp” calais/calais/calais-centaine-migrants-expulses-campment-1827922.html