Skip to navigationSkip to content
EPA/Etienne Laurent
A plush toy lies on the ground after migrants fled the makeshift camp ‘The Jungle’ following the outbreak of a fire during dismantling operations a day earlier, in Calais on Oct. 27.
THE JUNGLE

Toys left behind in Calais are a reminder of the childhood lost by migrant children

By Johnny Simon

Authorities have begun demolishing “The Jungle,” the temporary camp for refugees and migrants in Calais. Earlier this week, most of its inhabitants had been moved to processing centers to settle them throughout France. Despite efforts to house the remaining refugees, the BBC reports that nearly 100 unaccompanied minors had nowhere to sleep for the night.

It’s a sad reminder that the children making the perilous journey from war-torn regions to Europe have lost any hope for a “normal” childhood. The small artifacts left behind, captured by photographers documenting the camp’s dismantling, show the small ways these young migrants have grasped whatever happiness they can.

EPA/Etienne Laurent
A soccer ball was abandoned after migrants left the makeshift camp in Calais on Oct. 27.
EPA/Etienne Laurent
An abandoned teddy bear.
EPA/Etienne Laurent
Belongings on the ground after migrants left.
Christopher Furlong/Getty
Felt tip pens are left inside a caravan in the now nearly deserted “Jungle” migrant camp on Oct. 27.