Migrant Jungles – Filming for Newsnight

Earlier this year I was tasked to meet a team from Newsnight in Calais to cover the possible clearing of the Migrant Camp called the Jungle. While waiting for the authorities to confirm the start of the clearing process we decided to film our first nightly piece concentrating on another camp just a few kilometres away in Dunkirk.

The Dunkirk camp is situated on a plot of land just feet away from a quiet residential area and unlike the Jungle in Calais this makeshift camp which is home for thousands of migrants from many different nationalities has no infrastructure at all. There are no shops, there are no permanent buildings.

The French authorities have decided that any kind of building materials are banned, everyone including volunteers are searched on their way in to stop the smuggling of wood and tools, this is so the migrants are discouraged from settling here permanently. This has made living conditions much worse for the inhabitants as they are not able to improve their living accommodation.

The one thing that struck me was the amount of mud due to the foul winter weather. Whole families are living in inadequate tents, in a quagmire of mud and their children are running around with plastic bags on their feet in knee deep freezing mud and all surviving on handouts from Aid agencies. Regardless of where these people are from or why they are here one thing is certain… This is no way to live.

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