Investigating the migrant camps in Calais, Northern France, researchers from the University of Birmingham found inhabitants to be inadvertently defecating in their own water supply, and consequently stricken with disease.
Describing the camps as “diabolical”, the researchers blamed the people of Europe for the conditions in the illegal camps, calling them “a blight on the reputation of European states”. The Birmingham team were accompanied by activists from the Doctors of the World group, and spent two months observing and questioning those who temporarily called the camp home.
The report, which is calling on the British, French, and European governments to declare Calais a humanitarian crisis area rather than seeing it as a simple border policing issue identified the poor conditions created by the inhabitants. Problems caused by overcrowding by migrants desperate to enter the United Kingdom illegally included rat infestations and insufficient washing facilities.
Toilets in the camps were found to be overflowing, which introduces “harmful levels of bacteria”. Drinking water in the camp was found to contain E coli and Coliform, the presence of which is “indicative of faecal contamination”, reports The Guardian.
The thousands of potential future doctors and scientists in the camps were found to be suffering from diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever and vomiting thanks to the insanitary conditions and lack of food.
Although the transitory population had failed to improve the conditions of their latrines or cooking facilities and are apparently struck down with disease, they have still found the energy to establish a nightclub for themselves, as reported by Breitbart London this week. One migrant who frequented the Jungle nightclub said people went there too have a drink and relax at the end of the day so they could again imagine they were back home in their own countries.
The report accused Europe of turning a blind eye to Calais when they would normally be happy to help abroad: “Internationally agreed standards for the provision of aid and protection in refugee situations are nowhere to be found in Calais. That is a blight on the reputation of European states, who should and can do better, as they often do in refugee crises elsewhere”.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org