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Sangatte: Burden-sharing agreement swings into action

Briefing notes

Sangatte: Burden-sharing agreement swings into action

6 December 2002

Since yesterday morning, three buses carrying a total of 119 people set off from Sangatte to the UK, in accordance with the burden-sharing agreement between the governments of France and the UK announced on Monday. One bus left yesterday and another two this morning.

Those moved so far have been mostly Iraqis, along with some Afghans with close relatives already living in the UK.

Most of them were single men, apart from three Afghan families yesterday, and one mother and a young child and a 65-year-old woman with her grown-up son who left this morning. The main transfer of eligible families in the centre will start on Saturday, after appropriate accommodation was found for them in the UK

There were 1,641 people with valid badges in the Sangatte centre before the first transfers took place, including 108 people whose badges had technically lapsed, but were allowed back into Sangatte earlier in the week, after the 24-hour deadline for them to return was extended.

The seven UNHCR teams working in Sangatte have now conducted more than 1,000 in-depth individual interviews. As well as assisting in identifying those being transferred to the UK, the UNHCR teams are also preparing the lists of those who will remain in France. The first transfer from this group to accommodation elsewhere in France is also scheduled to take place later today.