French police on Friday began evacuating more than 700 migrants who had occupied a disused Paris secondary school since early August.
AFP reporters at the scene said the migrants and asylum seekers, including many from Sudan,Afghanistan and Eritrea, calmly walked out of the run-down building accompanied by police officers and social workers.
Some 26 buses were stationed outside the former school in the French capital’s 19th arrondissement, ready to take the migrants to shelters.
Many of the migrants had been sleeping rough or in tents before taking over the abandoned school this summer and dubbing it “The House of Refugees”.
At one point Paris officials suggested the school would be refurbished and turned into a semi-permanent migrant centre.
But conditions soon deteriorated in the overcrowded building and a local administrative court ordered its evacuation in late September.
“This is a humanitarian emergency,” said Paris Prefect Jean-François Carenco, who heads police in the French capital, adding that all migrants would be provided with accommodation.
The former Lycée Jean-Quarré was the last of several illegal camps that sprouted in the French capital this year as the inrush of asylum seekers accelerated across Europe.
Other camps near the Gare du Nord and Gare d’Austerlitz train stations were cleared over the summer.