Here the printversion of the Infoguide:

welcome to calais booklet_eng_updatedoct15

Welcome to Calais

An Info-Guide for Refugees and Migrants

  • No Borders: Who We Are

  • Welcome to Calais: An Introduction to the City

  • Associations and Activities in Calais

  • Know Your Rights: Arrest in France

  • Pregnancy in Calais

  • Intro to Asylum in the UK and other EU countries

  • Dublin III

  • Applying for Asylum in the UK

  • Special Cases: Torture Victims and LGBT*I*Q Migrants

  • Travel Tips in Europe

  • France

  • Netherlands

  • Germany

  • Denmark

  • Belgium

  • Sweden

  • Austria

Who is No Borders? Why are you handing me this guide?

We are a loose group of people who have been working together in Calais since 2009. Some of us live in Calais, others live in different countries and come to stay a short while here. As activists, we support refugees where we live and elsewhere because we believe everyone deserves to live where they want and have access to a good life. We believe that freedom of movement is everybodys right and we want a world without borders. In order to support you, we would like to give you some useful information about Calais and Europe. We hope you have a safe journey to wherever you want to go!

What does No Borders do in Calais?

We provide direct aid and work together with people who are denied the basics of life decent food, shelter, freedom of movement.

We dont get money for our work and we dont work together with the state or the church.

If you need any more information which is not written in this booklet or if you have specific questions, get in touch with us:


07 53 47 51 59 (from inside France)

00 33 75 34 75 159 (from outside France)

Email: //


Intro to Calais

Welcome to Calais! Calais is a medium-sized town of 73,000 inhabitants (105,000 with the neighboring municipalities of Coquelles, Marck and Sangatte). It is in the north of France, near Belgium and across from Britain.

For a long time, Calais used to be an English town. It is the main crossing point between the continent and Britain by boat or, since 1994, the Channel Tunnel. Much of the city was destroyed during World War II and part of the population had to flee.

Calais is traditionally an industrial city, but it has been greatly affected by the successive crises and more than 20% of the population is unemployed. It is also a city whose population is younger than in the rest of France.

Refugees in Calais

Refugees have lived in Calais for many years.

In the early 1990s, after the fall of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe, refugees from these countries began to come to Calais and found themselves blocked by the border. Starting in the mid-90s, these were mainly people fleeing the war in the former Yugoslavia, including many families with children.

The population was mobilized, associations lobbied the state and they were able to open up a centre for refugees.

In 1999, a shelter was set up in a large hangar at Sangatte, outside of Calais. It was managed by the Red Cross. It hosted several thousand people over three years.

In 2002, the government changed and the Sangatte centre was closed. Since then, the state has prevented any permanent settlement or reception of refugees in decent conditions. Shelters are regularly destroyed and squats evicted.

The countries of origin of refugees have changed over time: Kurds, Afghans, Iranians, Vietnamese, Albanian, Syrians, Eritreans, Sudanese, ().

In 2009, a big increase in the number of refugees in Calais attracted media attention. The government staged the spectacular destruction of the main camps and squats. But it did not solve anything, and refugees are still here. Several attempts have been made at collective deportations, including to Afghanistan, but they were stopped by the courts.

Since 2009, more and more people have asked for asylum in Calais. But the reception of asylum seekers has become worse throughout France. They often have to apply to the courts to have their basic rights recognized, starting with decent housing.

In 2014, the number of people seeking asylum in Calais increased dramatically again and attracted more media attention. Some of the local population has become more hostile to refugees, and recently racist groups (like Sauvons Calais) seem to be gaining support. In response to the new arrivals, the government has opened a new day centre’ called ‘Jules Ferry,’ but it is very far outside of town and will not fix the situation for those staying here.

Associations and Activities in Calais (last updates 22nd of august 2015)

Where can I get food?

Day Center Jules Ferry:

Everyday from 5pm to 8 pm. There is warm, halal food!
Problem: The way to get there is very far and sometimes there are police or fascists on the way. It is good to go there with a group instead of walking alone.

The different associations bring food donations to the camps around once or twice a week, so that you can cook for yourself.

Many people go to Lidl supermarket, since it is quite cheap and the closest to the Jules Ferry camp.Also, many supermarkets throw away food, even though it is still good. You can look in the garbage next to supermarkets and find things to eat sometimes.

I am sick, where can I get treatment?

The emergency room at the hospital treats everyone who has an urgent health issue.

The PASS clinic (the small container-house on the left, next to the hospital parking) treats people without health insurance and/or papers from Monday to Friday from 1.30 to 5.30 in the afternoon.

In the jungle next to Jules ferry center you can find a tent from doctors of the world and doctors without borders, here you can get medical support as well.

Asylum seekers have the right to Universal Health Coverage (ask the association that is handling your asylum claim).

Where can I take a shower?

The PASS Clinic (the small container-house on the left side by the hospital parking) the first twenty male persons that arrive at 13.30 can take a shower there.

In the Jules Ferry Day Center, you can take a shower until 15:00. They will give you soap and towel, but the shower only lasts for 4 minutes.

The Ladies’ House: Women and children only can sleep, take a shower and cook in the ladies’ house. It is inside the Jules Ferry Day Center. The association “La vie active” is responsible for the place, but it is mostly the women themselves who manage everyday life. Sleeping spaces are sometimes limited, but if you are a woman you can always go there for a shower. You have to pass by the security guards with a dog or ring the bell outside if you arrive late at night. You have the right to go in and out whenever you want!

Where can I get a blanket / tent / clothes for free?

Sometimes people go to the jungles with vans full of donations and hand out tents, sleeping bags or blankets. Sometimes, Médecins du Monde buy a lot of these items and bring them to the jungles (especially after evictions, when living spaces get destroyed by the police). Unfortunately, there is no place where you can always go and get these things for free. It depends on the donations that are sent to Calais.

Once every two weeks on Saturday, a clothes distribution takes place at the Vestiaire on Rue de Croyx, near Notre-Dame Church.

Who can help me with my asylum claim / administrative procedure?

Secours Catholique if you need legal advice or want to ask for asylum, it is a good idea to go to Secours Catholique. They can give you advice and will try to support you, no matter which country you are from or for what reason you came.

Where can I use the telephone / internet?

Mediatheque of Calais, Rue de Pont Laltin 16 (close to the big shopping center and the theater) opens at 10 am, closed on Sunday and Monday!
PROBLEM: You need to show them an ID card or passport or papers that show that you asked for asylum.

In some neighbourhoods there are hotspots you can use and there are coffeeshops with free wifi. (for example MC Donalds in the neighbourhood la ZUP)

Where can I charge my phone?

Secours Catholique from 9 in the morning to 5 pm in the afternoon from Monday to Friday

Day Centre Jules Ferry Everyday from 2 pm to 5 pm in the afternoon

There are often some private people that agree to charge telephones. Ask around in the jungles to get the contact and address of these people.

Where can I play football? Every Sunday around 15:00, people come together to play football together (migrants from different communities and French people that live around Calais) close to the jungle. Everybody is welcome to join and play. Often people bring sports clothes and sports shoes there that you can use!

Where can I find and fix a bike?

There is a new bike workshop in Secours Catholique

Where can I learn another language? There are French and English classes in different places on several days of the week. Check out the Secours Catholique and ask around, there are also teachers coming to the jungles to give lessons there.

You can also check out ‘le locale’ at Boulevard La Fayette 162 on the corner opposite of a fish shop. They have language lessons in English, French and possibly others. They also have bread making workshops, tea time, books, legal information and more.

Where can I get free contraception and advise about sexual health?

Contraception in France is legal and free. In the PASS clinic, you can get male condoms and in the Family Planing Center you can get any type of contraception (the pill, female condoms, injection, loop, etc.). Family planning Center address: Centre de Planification ou d’education familiale, rue Mollien 70, 1er étage (1st floor), 62100 CALAIS, Phone 03 21 21 62 33

If you want to have a check-up for sexually transmitted infections (like HIV, Hepatitis B), you can make a free and anonymous blood test at the centre de dépistage.

( Centre de Dépistage Anonyme et Gratuit. 1601
oulevard des Justes – 62100 Calais. Bus 3, 7, 8 La Roselière)


If you don´t want to walk, there are public buses that can bring you from A to B. All buses cost 1 Euro per ride. There is a busmap and a map of the city at the busstops and at the touristoffice (close to the trainstation)

Big hospital and emergency room:

Boulevard des Justes,

62107 Calais

It is close to Secours Catholic and the former ladies house if you ask people where to find it

LA PASS Clinic:

The pass clinic is next to the big hospital on a parking. It consists of two big grey containers.

Daycenter Jules Ferry:

the daycenter is quite close to the port

follow „Route de Gravelines“, then turn left on „chemin des dunes“

Secours Catholique

A Catholic charity that provides many services to migrants in Calais, they have a place where you can go during the day. They don´t mind which religion, if any, you practice:

Boulevard Victor Hugo

walk down the road towards the hospital and the motorway, you will pass by on the right side a supermarket called Carrefour. The association is in a house on which is written „la Chevaline“.

Medecins du monde

 “Doctors of the World” organise healthcare in the jungle, and also other social services.

L´auberge des migrants 

 A local association who  regularly brings food to the jungles

Le locale 

Boulevard La Fayette 162

a local space offering language lessons, bread making workshops, tea time, legal information and more.

How do I register a SIM card for my phone?

If you would like to have a SIM card, it’s a good idea to choose Lyca, because you can communicate with all other Lyca phones for free and you dont need to give a real name in order to register.

How to register your SIM card:

Call 323, they speak English, French and Arabic.

You need to give them a name, an address (street, number, postcode) in Calais (postcode: 62100), and a passport number (UK passport numbers always consist of 9 numbers, for example: 450100397). They only check if the address exists, so as long as you give them a real address in Calais it will work. They don’t check the passport number.

Once the phone call is finished, you have to switch your phone off and on again – now it works!


What should I do if I am attacked by the police or arrested?

If you are attacked by the police, you are not alone. Everyone has the right to make a complaint against the police if they abuse their power, whether or not you have papers. If you want to complain about police violence, talk to a lawyer, or get support, you can call this number: 0605862150 (Lyca). This is not an official group, but a small group who try to support people experiencing police violence by collecting evidence and putting people in touch with legal and medical help when possible.

Attacks by the police in Calais against migrants are both severe and frequent. Many migrants are randomly arrested on their way to basic services (e.g. walking from the jungle to the waterpoint in the squat, taking the bus to the hospital, buying something at the supermarket or coming back from the food distribution). Many migrants have also been beaten and tear-gassed by the police, and have gotten broken legs, arms or facial injuries. We have also heard many reports of police chasing migrants into busy motorways, which has caused a number of deaths in the last few months.

Rights and rules if you are arrested

An identity control can last up to 16 hours for foreigners.

It is possible that you might be taken to the police station and then released within several hours, even if you dont have any papers. In general, police custody officially begins the moment you are arrested. The police has to inform you about your rights in a language that you understand (notification of rights)!

Inside the prison you have the right to:

+ let a friend or family member know, to make phone calls

+ contact the association of the prison

+ get a translator

+ see a doctor

+ get assistance from a lawyer

While in police custody, you have the right to refuse to answer questions, and it is best not to sign the statement that they hand to you and a translator will translate (you don’t have to sign). However, it is good to know exactly what it says. Pay attention to everything that is written in the statement: time and place of arrest, etc. A small mistake could help the lawyer to get you out of prison. If you recognize a mistake made by the police that could help you in court, do not tell the police; they may correct it.

You should not be held in prison for longer than it takes to carry out the investigation. In this case, this means verifying ‘the full identity’ of the person arrested (full name, address, nationality, parentsnames) and collecting statements.

Detention center (CRA)

If you don’t have a visa for France, the Préfet (chief of police) can also send you a OQTF (Obligation to leave the French territory).

That means that if you are arrested, you’ll be placed in a detention center (CRA). Rules there are a bit different than in prison. You can keep your belongings and let someone bring them to you, you can also have your phone (although police may take it away if it has a camera.) Guards will keep your money. Any person can visit you, they need to know your full name and present an I.D. You can be brought clothes, food in closed bags, tobacco (not opened packages), and cash.

If you receive deportation orders (OQTF*, APRF*, etc.), you have 48 hours to make an appeal against it. Contact the association of the detention center, they will help you!

Maximum detention time in France is 45 days. You have right to have a translator throughout the procedure.

Within the first 5 days, you must be brought to a special judge called a JLD (Juge des Libertés et de la Détention) who will decide if your detention is legal or if the police made any mistakes. If you can prove mistakes in the procedure, they have to let you go (e.g. failure to respect your rights in prison or errors in the timeline).

You should tell your lawyer to look for mistakes in the procedure. You’ll be presented again to the judge (JLD) after 20 days. All proof that you can present then must have occurred within those last 20 days.

To deport you, France needs permission from the embassy of the country they think you are from. You will have an interview with a public official. You should ask to stay alone with him it’s your right. You have to do an interview but you can ask to do it later if you don’t feel well (sickness…).

If you are in a deportation center, you have 5 days to apply for asylum. Then you will be under the quick procedure.

What to do if I think I am pregnant :

To take a pregnancy test, go to the family planning center in Calais: CENTRE DE PLANIFICATION ou DEDUCATION FAMILIALE rue Mollien 70, 1er étage (1st floor),
62100 CALAIS, Phone 03 21 21 62 33 or to the PASS clinic.

After this, they will give you appointments in the big hospital to do regular check-ups.
If you are pregnant and you decide to ask for asylum, French law considers you to be vulnerableand you will be prioritized like minors and sick people. This does NOT MEAN that you have a higher chance to be accepted as a refugee and get long-term papers, but you will receive social services like housing, health insurance and money immediately, without having to wait.

What should I do if Im pregnant, but don´t want to / cannot continue the pregnancy?

If you are pregnant, you are free to decide if you want to keep the baby or not. It is your choice! Even if you are minor, you have the right to decide on your own whether or not to keep the baby.

In France, it is legal have an abortion until the 12th week of your pregnancy (for specific medical reasons, abortion can also take place later). You don’t have to pay for it and it will be done at the hospital or a special center under good and safe conditions! The risks of an abortion are very low and has normally no effects on your health and fertility in the future.

What to do?
1. Take a pregnancy test to be sure you are pregnant. You can buy one at the supermarket and in pharmacies. In French it is called a ‘test de grossese.’
2. If the test is positive, make an appointment as soon as possible at the

70, rue Mollien

1er étage (1st floor)
62100 CALAIS
03 21 21 62 33 (they might only speak French).

They will ask when your last period was, your birthdate and your name. Another possibility is that you go to the PASS clinic directly and explain your situation to them.
If you want, you can go with a friend to support you. (If you are underage, you have to be accompanied by an adult of your choice.)
3. At the Centre de Planification,’ they will do a short check-up and then arrange an appointment at the big hospital for your first medical consultation.
4. You will have your first medical consultation in the big hospital of Calais. Sometimes they make problems there and dont want to allow migrant women to have their abortion there. This is wrong and they do not have the right to reject you!
You can show them this legal text:
la loi fait obligation aux structures hospitalières de prendre en charge les IVG de femmes étrangères sans papiers .
La loi DHOS /DSS/DGAS N°141 du 16 Mars 2005 demande
– la prise en charge des soins urgents des étrangers-res RÉSIDANT en France de manière irrégulière et non-bénéficiaires de l’Aide Médicale dEtat
-et donne ainsi accés à lIVG à toute femme étrangère séjournant en France
They will make a blood test and an sonogram (picture of your stomach). The doctor will write a summary of the examination and will make an appointment for the abortion. (The abortion will only take place 7 days after your first examination, unless it is an emergency. This is called ‘period of reflection,in case you change your mind and dont want to abort anymore.)

4. If you are underage: You have to have a conversation with a social worker before the abortion. They will give you the contact at the Centre de Planification’.
5. The day of the abortion. Two methods exist:
– The medical method(with a pill): This is possible until the 5th week of your pregnancy without going to hospital. From the 5th to the 7th week of your pregnancy it can be done at the hospital.
– The surgical method is possible until the 12th week of your pregnancy. The content of the uterus receives a local or general anesthesia. It takes place during the day and you will stay at the hospital for a few hours.
6. 3 or 4 weeks after the abortion, you can go to a check-up to see if everything is OK. They will suggest several forms of contraception to you.


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