Paris to open first refugee camp in mid-October, says mayor

Palestinian refugee parents wait for their children at one of the UNRWA schools at a Palestinian refugee camp on Sept 1, 2016.
Palestinian refugee parents wait for their children at one of the UNRWA schools at a Palestinian refugee camp on Sept 1, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Paris will open its first refugee camp in mid-October, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Tuesday (Sept 6), announcing a centre solely for men with an initial capacity of 400.

The centre, which will be housed in an old railway site in the north of Paris, aims to replace the makeshift camps that keep springing up around the city.

Ms Hidalgo, who had announced in May that the camp would be created, said asylum-seekers would be allowed stay there for "five to 10 days" and would receive medical and psychological care.

A second centre, for women and children only, will be opened in Ivry-sur-Seine to the southeast of Paris by the end of the year, she told a press conference.

Ms Hidalgo, a Socialist, said the 6.5 million euro Paris centre aimed to take asylum-seekers off the streets while they wait for a place in a refugee hostel.

The announcement comes as yet another makeshift camp housing several hundred people in northern Paris was dismantled by police on Tuesday morning.