The 2010 CARE Grand Prix for Humanitarian Reportage sponsored by sanofi-aventis

An estimated five million illegal immigrants live and work in the European Union, a figure that increases by half a million every year. The main target countries on the borders of the European Union, e.g. Spain, Greece and Italy, receive political and financial support from other EU Member States in a bid to prevent illegal entry to the EU, turning Europe into a fortress.


In the area of Calais called the Jungle, Afghan children and teenagers wash in wastewater from local factories. With blankets and tents donated by charities, they try to keep warm as they hide in bushes and trains. It has been a long winter. The migrants may dream that they are safe after fleeing Afghanistan, but have woken up to face the harsh facts. Here in the jungle in Calais, Afghan boys fear and hide from the police. Many have sprains and fractures after police chases at night or from desperate failed attempts to hang on beneath a truck bound for England. Sylvie, who works for the charity Salam, says the jungle boys depend on aid from volunteers and get no support from the French authorities. And citizens may stop and think before offering to help illegal migrants, for under French law, it is an offense incurring a possible five-year sentence and a fine of up to 30 000 euros.

Carsten Snejbjerg

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