Macron orders French authorities to show more "humanity" towards immigrants

After a landslide parliamentary election, French President Emmanuel Macron has begun to take action and reform his government's policies, the first being: The treatment of immigrants by French authorities.
"We cannot treat women and men as if they are just numbers" Photo Credit: EPA/Frederic Scheiber/Channel 2 News

After his party won a large majority in parliament this week, French President Emmanuel Macron is taking action and is beginning to make changes in government policy. The French government announced (today) Thursday that local authorities across the country have been instructed to change the way in which they treat immigrants and to show more humanity towards the immigrant population.

"Prefects have given instructions for more flexibility to be shown, in particular for more humanity to be shown," spokesman for the French government Christophe Castaner told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting. "We cannot treat women and men as if they are just numbers."

The new directive came as a follow up to meeting between Macron and Jacques Toubon, head of France's public human rights watch dog, earlier this week. Toubon referred to the evacuation of the Calais refugee camp in northern France, that has been nicknamed “the jungle" because of the harsh conditions that exist in the area as an example of the French authorities' poor handling of immigrants.

The government's determination not to see migrants back in Calais ... seems to result in everything being done to prevent the migrants from settling: tents and shelter are not tolerated, people -- including minors -- are sleeping on the ground," Toubon stated in a report published on Thursday.

The Calais refugee camp to which Toubon referred to, accommodated more than 6,000 immigrants before it was evacuated last October after harsh criticism on its conditions and lack of enforcement by French security.

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