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Roma Camp near Paris

Photographer: Yoan Valat


Created about eight month ago, the camp located east of Paris, France, hosts four families each with four or five children. Most of the families who live in the camp were forced move there after they had been evacuated from a camp in Noisy le Grand in mid-October 2012. Composed of a dozen of makeshift shelter housing units, the new camp in the east of the French capital has poor sanitary conditions but the families live there to stay together and be better able to help each other. Most of the children do no go to school. However, several associations like Romeurope, Secours Catholique or Porte-B'honneur in France are involved to help Roma people with clothes, food and, equally important, medical care.


France's new Socialist government since coming into power in 2012 has been breaking up illegal Roma camps and deporting their inhabitants back to Eastern Europe. An estimated 15,000 foreign Roma people were living in illegal camps across France in the summer of 2012. Coming mainly from Bulgaria and Romania, the Roma people have the right to enter France without a visa but, under special rules, they must have work or residency permits if they wish to stay in the country longer than three months.