Human Rights Observers

Founded in 2017, we observe police operations in Calais and Grande-Synthe in order to document, challenge and denounce breaches of human rights.


Who We Are

Human Rights Observers (HRO) was founded in 2017 as an inter-associative project and unofficial watchdog. Now a project of French organisation L’Auberge des Migrants, it aims to document and denounce the State violence perpetrated against displaced people at the French-UK border, in Calais and Grande-Synthe.

Why We're Here

Following an increase in the accounts of police violence against displaced persons in 2017, HRO has endeavoured to both document these occurrences & act as a deterrence. This involves being present during police operations in the area, in order to both document them & act as a secondary witness to deter them from malpractice.


Our Response and Impact

Data Collection

We collect data related to police operations, mainly concerning forced evictions from informal living sites. Observations of evictions are carried out by teams of two people, sometimes more. Teams are present every day in Calais, and from Monday to Friday in Grande-Synthe. To this end, team members receive various training sessions.


We use this data to analyse the State's policy of fighting against fixation points at the border from a human rights perspective. Subsequently, we carry out advocacy work through different means in order to denounce the policy carried out by the French and British authorities.

Legal Challenges

Our jurists also work closely with other associations operating at the French-UK border and lawyers in order to challenge the State’s violence in all its forms (individual acts of police violence, institutionalised theft, evictions, forced sheltering operations, discrimination, and so forth).


What We Need

Much like the other organisations in the Calais Appeal, L’Auberge des Migrants is facing the risk of not being able to continue the Human Rights Observers project in 2022. 


Every donation has an impact. In order to raise awareness and denounce state violence on the French-British border, Human Rights Observers wishes to continue to develop its legal actions, and also its advocacy and communication actions, which requires financial support. Also, the work involves a lot of travel, and therefore costs related to the use of cars, which need to be covered.