The refugee camp in Calais, France (known as "The Jungle") was cleaned out this past week. Take a look…
As I've said before, human trafficking presents countless grey areas that are not easily answered. Are there countries in the world where the danger is so great, the poverty so dire, the lure of a better life so tantalizing that people feel they have no choice but to flee? Yes. There are.
Do nations rise against nation and displace various people groups so that they are left with nowhere to go? Yes. Do natural disasters happen leaving people homeless, hungry and destitute? Yes.
Do we stop building refugee camps for displaced persons who need immediate shelter… food… water… clothing…? Sigh… I want to say no. I want for there to be emergency places in the face of political upheaveal and natural disasters. I want the world to be able to reach out and help in this way! If people are so set on making better lives for their families, refugee camps can be a source of help!
They can also be living, breathing monsters.
What are supposed to be transient places are turned into permenant quarters. People live in squalor and refugee camps turn into shanty towns. Violence increases under frayed tensions, rapes abound, and since many people are fleeing violence and tragedy, personal sorrow and trauma abounds. Put thousands of these people together in one tight area and you have a recipe for disaster. As much as people can count on places like The Jungle as one more step to freedom, they can also count on them to destroy lives.
Rwanda… Sudan… New Orleans (Katrina)… SE Asia the wake of the Tsunami… only 4 contemporary examples of displaced persons being forced to live in community with others in the face of horror, trauma, disease and death just to survive themselves.
It is here the true capitalists shine. These are golden opportunities for people of good business to buy and sell people. The refugee camps may as well be slave camps. Human trafficking is rampant. Desperate to get out… one will take ANY chance of escape or sell a child so he or she can escape.
Escape they do.
They escape to hell.
So what to do? Clean out the camps as Calais has done? Stop the trafficking that way? Shut down all the camps around the world? Would that work?
But the slave trade in these places cannot go on either.
What to do… I have no answers.