Migrants: in Calais, the work of associations mandated by the State

In Calais, as throughout the national territory, associative structures are mandated by the State services to manage the complex situation of migrants. ” Throughout the social action sector, the State is responsible for, everywhere in France », Recalls Nathalie Chomette, the departmental director of employment, work and solidarity (DDETS) of Pas-de-Calais.

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The State chooses operators whose skills match the situation to be dealt with. Last winter, in Grande-Synthe, in the neighboring department of North, Afeji and Civil Protection had both been mandated to provide shelter for migrants as part of the Great Cold Plan. In Calais, several of the mandated associations were approached because they have interpreters on their teams who master the languages ​​of exiled people.

Following the dismantling of the jungle in 2016, the Council of State in June 2017 ordered the State and the city to implement various measures to protect and support migrants. The Prefect has thus mandated four associations active in Calaisis – as well as a departmental public establishment – which still continue their public service mission: La Vie active, France terre Asile, MAHRA-Le Toit and Audasse. , unified association for the development of social, solidarity and emancipatory action.

Precise and time-limited missions

In parallel or in addition to their daily action, these associations solicited by the State volunteer for a specific mission and duration. No public contracts here, except for the distribution of meals – which in Calais represents 3.6 million euros per year and 20 full-time equivalents – and waste removal, but agreements, often annual, between the association and state services.

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We contract the associative structures in the field that seem to us the most relevant and we agree on the methods of financing », Continues the departmental director who steers the humanitarian system for the State. Here again, everywhere in France, the method of contracting is identical, regulated by the Code of Social Action and Families. Actions financed by the State are carried out exclusively by employees, even if these associations also work with volunteers.


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