In the wake of the announcement that the UK will help fund a new migrant detention centre in Northern France as well as more surveillance and patrolling capacity, said:
“MSF knows, as do President Macron and Prime Minister Sunak, that policies focused on punishment and detention cause horrific suffering and do not deter people from seeking sanctuary.
“Our teams around the world witness the humanitarian impact of such measures daily. In Greece, our staff on Lesvos and Samos islands report overwhelming levels of mental health suffering among the asylum seeker and refugee population. People’s existing trauma, from their experiences in their home countries and along the migration route, is compounded by deplorable conditions in confinement and the uncertainty of their position as they are trapped indefinitely.
“Refugees and asylum seekers in Northern France already experience relentless violence, harassment, and misery at the hands of the French authorities, supported by the UK Government. In the UK, continued focus on shutting down safe routes and punishing anyone attempting to reach safety is leaving people in limbo. This will get worse with new legislation
“These plans announced today are a shameful abdication by the UK and France of their duty to provide a fair, humane asylum system. They must be immediately abandoned and replaced with safe routes for people wishing to travel from France to seek safety in the UK.”
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