The mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, has issued a decree which intends to prevent charities from handing out food and helping refugee children. According to this decree, the “regular, persistent and large presence of individuals distributing meals to migrants” poses a security risk to the area. Long gatherings are prohibited, making it difficult for charities to distribute food.
The decree aims at preventing the formation of a new refugee camp, which means that besides distributing food, even setting up facilities like showers for refugee children and teenagers has become an offence. Charities said that the numbers of refugees was increasing, however, people are giving less donations. Christian Salomé, the president of the Auberge des Migrants charity said that children, who unlike adults, have no money at all, would be the ones who would be most affected by the food ban.
Measures to enforce this decree have become more and more drastic. Volunteers reported to have been attacked with teargas by police forces when trying to hand out breakfast to teenagers in an area outside the city. Despite the ban, charities like Utopia56 said they would not stop handing out food to refugees. The ban was imposed at a time when about 400 migrants, mostly unaccompanied children, came to northern France.