Image: The Calais Jungle encampment, 11 May 2016, from OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Flickr Photostream

Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp: Environment, Health and Exclusion

If you missed this year’s ‘Cost of Living’ Symposium it is now available to watch in the above video.

Surindar Dhesi, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham

Arshad Isakjee, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool

Recorded at the British Sociological Association’s Medical Sociology Conference

13 – 15 September 2017

University of York

Abstract: The ongoing emergency for refugees is having profound and hidden health consequences for thousands of displaced persons who live in informal ‘makeshift’ camps across Europe. This interdisciplinary research reports the results of the first environmental health assessment in such a location, in what was Europe’s largest informal refugee camp in 2016, in Calais, northern France. We detail the lack of facilities for sanitation, safe provision of food, water and shelter, demonstrating how conditions fall short of agreed international standards for formal refugee camps. Rather than the notion of migrants being the cause of health problems, this paper critically reveals the hidden materiality of bodily injury caused by poor health conditions, where the camp itself produces harm. Drawing upon theories of biopolitical exclusion, the paper concludes by: (1) Emphasising the empirical and conceptual themes that tie refugee politics and biologies together; and (2) Makes a call for increased attention to makeshift camps as key sites of health exclusion in Europe and beyond.