RRDP visits the French Senate – Advocating for the rights of refugees and displaced people

 

One of the Refugee Rights Data Project’s key objectives is to encourage a humane and sustainable policy response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Europe. As part of this work, we regularly reach out to parliamentarians and influencers to share our research findings and to make a coherent, evidence-based case for action by European governments.

 

On Wednesday 20th of July, one of the Refugees Rights Data Project’s field researchers, Alice Daumont, attended an advocacy meeting at the French Senate in Paris to present our research findings from the Calais camp.

 

We engaged with the senators by presenting the data from our study which constituted the largest ever quantitative study to be carried out in the informal camp in Calais, and discussed the implications of the findings further alongside fellow representatives from Help Refugees, Doctors of the World and Plateforme de Service aux Migrants.

 

“…we hope that our efforts will have an impact by underlining the human rights infringements and unmet humanitarian standards in the Calais camp.”

 

The two senators we met were Jacques Legendre and Gaëtan Gorce, members of the Parti Républicain (right wing) and the Parti Socialiste (left wing), both of whom deal with matters relating to the northern part of France. They had previously visited the Calais camp in April 2016 to take account of the current humanitarian situation there, and were now keen to learn more from our research and from the observations of our peer organisations operating in the camp.

 

The meeting in the Senate took place at a critical point in time, as the future of the Calais camp is uncertain, with rumours of total dismantling in the coming weeks or months and with all local businesses having been shut down by French police last week.

 

The two senators expressed their understanding of the situation and showed interest in RRDP’s report. They will be drafting a report on European migration matters in the coming weeks, and we hope that our efforts will have an impact by underlining the human rights infringements and unmet humanitarian standards in the Calais camp. Advocacy work such as this can only strengthen the case for European action in line with existing human rights standards to which all European states are signatories.

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