Squats, shanty towns, camps: ociations are alarmed by an increase in violent evictions

At least 94,000 people, mainly foreigners, were expelled between November 2022 and October 2023 from squats, shanty towns, camps and other informal shelters, several ociations said on Tuesday. They point to an increase in violence committed during these operations.

In total, 1,111 expulsions were recorded over this period throughout France, according to the annual report of the Surveillance Observatory collective expulsions from informal living spaces. It was founded by several ociations including Médecins du monde, the Human Rights League and the Abbé Pierre Foundation.

Today in France, tens of thousands of people live in informal living spaces: #slumscamps, squats…

THE #evictions only reinforce their precariousness!

Read the new report from the Eviction Observatory 👇https://t.co/20XbsXR16W

— Doctors of the World (@MdM_France) November 28, 2023

Across the entire territory, 61% of evictions were subject to violence against residents, compared to 42% last year – a figure which rises to 88% on the northern coast, according to the Observatory. In 89% of evictions, at least part of people’s belongings were confiscated or destroyed, compared to 84% last year.

“Very few housing and accommodation solutions”

“We are in a trend towards an increase in the number of evictions with destruction of property which is quite systematic,” underlined Manuel Domergue, director of studies at the Abbé Pierre Foundation, during the press presentation of the report.

There were “very few social diagnoses beforehand and very few housing and accommodation solutions following the expulsions from informal living spaces”, in a context “where refer people to 115 is not a solution,” he continued. He spoke of a tension “never before experienced on access to accommodation with more than 8,000 people turned away each evening” by the emergency number for homeless people.

Over the period observed, 85% of evictions did not result in any accommodation or rehousing solution, according to the Observatory.

Children “even more affected”

The eight ociations are also alarmed by the impact of these expulsions on children present in these informal living spaces and the overall number of which is not known.

“We know well that they are even more affected by the effects of evictions, lack of housing, difficult living conditions, both on their health, on their education and the trauma of an expulsion and a sometimes violent intervention,” notes Manuel Domergue. “Being carried around (…) at the pace of expulsions has proven effects on these particularly vulnerable groups. »

On this subject, the Observatory recommends in particular the development of information and identification raids from Child Welfare (Ase) in informal living spaces and to suspend expulsions during the school year.

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