The number of migrants sleeping rough on the streets of Paris has risen by at least a third since the start of the week when the “Jungle” shanty town in Calais was evacuated, officials said on Friday.
Along the bustling boulevards and a canal in a northeastern corner of Paris, hundreds of tents have been pitched by migrants–mostly Africans who say they are from Sudan–with cardboard on the ground to try and insulate them from the autumn chill.
While the presence of migrants there is not new, it has grown substantially this week, Colombe Brossel, Paris deputy mayor in charge of security issues, told Reuters.
“We have seen a big increase since the start of the week. Last night, our teams counted 40 to 50 new tents there in two days,” Brossel said, adding there was now a total of 700 to 750.
This means there are some 2,000-2,500 sleeping in the area, up from around 1,500 a few days before, she said.
After years as serving as an illegal base camp for migrants trying to get to Britain, the “Jungle” at Calais was finally bulldozed this week and the more than 6,000 residents of the ramshackle camp near the English channel were relocated to shelters around France.
Ama, a 24-year-old Sudanese who is six months pregnant, said she had come to Paris from Calais, but that was months ago.
“I was in Calais before but I did not find the route (to Britain),” she said. “I couldn’t stay over there being pregnant, it was too hard.”
Deputy Mayor Brossel said it was up to the central government, and not city authorities, to act.
“These people must be sheltered,” she said.