Hundreds of refugees in Paris are sleeping outdoors – between traffic lanes, in gutters and on the streets – despite sub zero temperatures over the past few days, set to drop to -6 degrees celsius next week.
Volunteers we work, alongside Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) report that police have been harrassing refugees late at night, tear gassing them and taking their sleeping bags away despite the freezing weather. So far MSF have had to treat 8 people for hypothermia.
Paris is the 5th richest city in the world, people who have escaped from war, persecution and poverty should not be subjected to these horrific conditions, sleeping outside in freezing temperatures. With the city’s only refugee reception centre completely overcrowding and around 100 to 150 new people arriving there each day, we call on the mayor of Paris, the state and large NGOs to find solutions and for refugees to be treated with more dignity.
Help Refugees has sent emergency funding to volunteers in Pairs to purchase sleeping bags and warm clothing and our team in the Calais warehouse are also offering support.
We will continue to support the teams and refugees in Paris – if you’d like to donate we would welcome your help.
Photo: Phillippe Lopez for Reuters