Where Europe’s Migrants Wait

Informal encampments for transiting migrants are sprouting all over Europe, from the outposts of Calais, Idomeni, Chios, and Lesbos, to the capital cities of Rome, Athens, and Paris. Manifesting as patchworks of tent cities and makeshift shelters in repurposed buildings, these encampments throw into sharp relief the consequences of Europe’s reception- and border-management policies. 

France’s so-called “Jungle of Calais” is perhaps the most visible example of this. A sprawling encampment near Calais that first appeared in 2002, it has been razed a dozen times by the French and British authorities. This week, mass evacuations began there yet again, as thousands of migrants were boarded onto buses that will disperse them to temporary shelters all over France.

Again and again, this scene has played out as the camp regenerates, only to be cleared out once more. The Jungle of Calais is a startling symbol of the failed migration policies that have left countless migrants vulnerable and adrift. Clearing out the camp has only forced its inhabitants further down the coast, leading to the creation of other “jungles” like Grande-Synthe, Norrent-Fontes, and Angres.

All over Europe, these encampments swell and disperse as migrants are displaced. The Idomeni camp, at the border of Greece and Macedonia, ballooned in November 2015 to become the largest camp in Europe when authorities attempted to close a route to Germany. And in March, the camps of Souda and Dipethe on the Greek island of Chios took in 2,000 migrants after they were left in limbo by a deal between the European Union and Turkey.

For many migrants, life is on hold in these camps as they wait for a new shipment of humanitarian aid, for their next attempt to cross a border, for the latest shift in migration policy. The photography above explores these places and the lives of the people within them—their hospitality, their warmth, and their dignity despite the most precarious of circumstances.

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I find it rather shocking to be the person than to look at These persons seeing as a country can say NO and you left with nothing.

Sai cosa devi fare signor Soros? Devi costruire un'isola felice per questi migranti e non portarli a soffrire in luoghi già molto affollati.

It is so very obvious that there are no serious governments around today. Who on God's earth could have left almost 200 small children to sleep on the side of the main road near The Jungle? Did Monsieur Hollande not look at the arrangements made for the migrants when the camp was destroyed? Helpless volunteers, of several nationalities, tried to help the children. But still many slept rough outdoors. I am a former UN worker int he less developed world. I have seen a great deal of suffering but I have never been so amazed and disgusted at what happened to those poor children. Some had families in Britain. We there no provision for them to go immediately to those families. I assure you, I did not sleep the night after I saw what was happening.

Bless you George Zoros and all at Open Society. A sane, if tragic, voice in our very troubled and, apparently, ungoverned world.


i want to know if a migrant or a refugee can be sacked out of camp to live on the street because he has a misunderstanding with a collegue migrant?

Western countries cannot turn their back against such problems or ignore the cry of these silent masses.

i feel bad for the refugees coming from war zones but a lot of the refugees are people coming to mooch of the benefit system of countries like Germany. Just because there are problems where the refugees come from dosent mean they should be allowed to come to europe. They need to stay and fix there problems in there homeland not bring there troubles to europe. Far too many are coming and its effecting the land negatively. There is plenty of land and safe countries where they come from.

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