Just hours before an 8 p.m. deadline for half of the residents of a refugee camp in northern France to be evicted, a French court Tuesday delayed a decision whether authorities have the legal right to displace the asylum-seekers from the Calais camp known as "the Jungle,” France 24 reported.
The local government in Calais required refugees in the southern half of the camp to leave before the demolition of that half of the camp. While those authorities estimated the demolition would affect between 800 and 1,000 refugees, who would be put in refitted shipping containers nearby, charities say more than 3,400 people would be affected.
"The proposed solutions do not meet their needs at all. It would be better that they stayed here until other solutions are found," Julie Bonnier, a lawyer for several refugee rights organizations, told France 24.
A ruling is expected either Wednesday or Thursday, the Express reported. The shipping containers proposed as living quarters have beds and are heated, but there would not be enough for all the refugees.
The Jungle has caught the attention of various celebrities, including actor Jude Law and singer Tom Odell, who have advocated for the United Kingdom to take in hundreds of children living in the camp, the Daily Mail reported. About 145 celebrities wrote a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to allow the children to come across the U.K. border.
Law said: “These are innocent, vulnerable children caught up in red tape with the frightening prospect of the demolition of the Jungle hanging over them,” the Daily Mail reported. About 440 children are in the camp, and more than half of them are unaccompanied.
— Tom Odell (@tompeterodell) February 22, 2016
Researchers said in an October report the conditions in the Jungle were deplorable, plagued by rats and with water sources filled with E. coli, the Guardian reported.