What is the 'jungle'?
Based on the outskirts of Calais, the Jungle camp is ‘home’ to around 6000 men, women and children, fleeing war, persecution or economic hardship in their homeland.
There are many reasons why people are in the jungle. Many want to reach the UK as they have close relatives and friends there. Many speak Engish very well. There are all sorts of people in the jungle from many nations - Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, Sudan and Ethiopia, amongst others. Worryingly there are many unaccompanied children - around 450. Around 200 of them have direct relatives in the UK which means that they have a legal right to be reunited with them.
The Jungle is a temporary and unsatisfactory solution and one in desperate need of funds, donations, and volunteers.
A report by researchers at the University of Birmingham working with the Doctors of the World group found the conditions in The Jungle to be diabolical, with cramped makeshift tents plagued by rats, water sources contaminated by faeces and inhabitants suffering from tuberculosis, scabies, and post-traumatic stress.
Source: The Guardian, 2nd Oct 2015.