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Quantitative survey on health and violence endured by refugees during their journey and in Calais, France

  • 2017/11/01
Type of publication
  • Articles
Authors
  • Bouhenia M
  • Farhat JB
  • coldiron me
  • Abdallah S
  • Visentin D
  • Neuman M
  • Berthelot M
  • Porten K
  • Cohuet S
Themes
  • Réponse aux Urgences
BACKGROUND:
In 2015, more than 1 million refugees arrived in Europe. During their travels, refugees often face harsh conditions, violence and torture in transit countries, but there is a lack of quantitative evidence on their experiences. We present the results of a retrospective survey among refugees in the 'Jungle' of Calais, France, to document their health problems and the violence they endured during their journeys.
 
METHODS:
We conducted a cross-sectional population-based survey in November and December 2015. The sample size was set at 402 individuals, and geospatial simple random sampling was used. We collected data on demographics, routes travelled, health status, violence and future plans.
 
RESULTS:
Departures from the country of origin increased beginning in September 2015. Sixty-one percent of respondents reported having at least one health problem, especially while in Calais. Overall, 65.6% (95% CI 60.3-70.6) experienced at least one violent event en route; 81.5% of refugees wanted to go to the UK.
 
CONCLUSIONS:
This first quantitative survey conducted among refugees in Europe provides important socio-demographic data on refugees living in Calais and describes the high rate of violence they encountered during their journeys. Similar documentation should be repeated throughout Europe in order to better respond to the needs of this vulnerable population.