The associations win the battle against the municipal order ‘anti- food distribution’

It is with pleasure and relief that on the 22nd of March we have learned the favourable decision of the Administrative Judge for our demand to suspend the municipal order in the city of Calais prohibiting the gatherings in the Industrial Zone of Dunes and the Dubrulle Wood. This order had the direct consequence to stop us from releasing food where we had got into the habit of doing it, close to the living spaces of the refugees.

The explanatory statement

It is worth reading the text of the ordinance, because it is very comprehensive and it exposes a very interesting motivation. The associations have taken part in the hearing and the Rights Defender envied written conclusions.

As indicated in the decision, the associations have been listened and their work taken into consideration. The paragraphs endorse this.

The second paragraph analyses the current state in Calais after the dismantling. The Judge underlines that the report’s recommendation Aribaud and Vignon about the ‘after-dismantling’ have not been followed and he describes  the present living conditions of the refugees in Calais, as laid down by the Rights Defender: “These people are in a state of deprivation, move from place to place to sleep and try to hide, exhausted, incapable of having a shower, while some of them have scabies and have to heal the wounds caused by their attempts to arrive in the UK”.

In the tenth paragraph, the recurring theory excluded by the Judge of the ‘fixation point’ returns. He recalls that “Calais will continue to draw  migrants because of his geographic position”, according to the Aribaud and Vignon words,  and in addition he affirms that stop humanitarian aid is not resolving the migration crisis.

In the name of the right to not be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment, the Judge suspended the municipal order. However, he didn’t accept the association’s request to obtain a proper distribution centre in Calais.

The distributions start again in the Dunes area

To ensure this decision, on the 23rd of March we started again with our distribution in the industrial area. This decision allows us to reduce uncertainty about our work and also to organize two food distributions a day instead of one.

On the date of the Judge’s decision publication, the Major published this press release:

The Major attempts to commemorate a triumph because she didn’t lose on the issue concerning the association request to have a proper distribution centre. Also, she emphasises that the order was suspended and not cancelled… in addition, she says that it was the only decision that the Trial Judge could have taken in the context of this judgement and that the order was also contested on its merits by the associations.

We regret that the words ‘air flow’ continue to be used in the political speeches. Despite all, we share her point of view regarding the government’s failure concerning the respect of refugees’ dignity in Calais and we can understand her anger.

But attacking the humanitarian associations, the Major is wrongly identifying them as enemies.


L’Auberge des Migrants


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