Brussels stations were over-flowing with hundreds of migrants, the majority of whom came from the Calais refugee camp, which was dismantled and closed at the beginning of November. There were possibly 170 at Brussels-Nord, whilst around fifty of them took refuge at Brussels-Midi.
They are mainly migrants originating from Sudan and Eritrea.
The SNCB and the mobile emergency service for homeless people, which helps the capital’s homeless, is trying to refer them to reception centres but a proportion of them would prefer to stay where they are for now.
“They do not wish to miss the opportunity to go to the United Kingdom,” the spokeswoman for the mobile emergency service said. She said that human traffickers have been placing migants in lorries destined for Ostend and Zeebrugge, hence they are trying to cross the channel.
Moreover, Brussels-Midi is the only station remaining open during the night in winter, offering shelter to the homeless. When it is cold and reception centres are full, we let people sleep in part of the station.
Since November, 125 people have thus slept there for some 27 nights,” Ines Venneman, the spokeswoman for the SNCB states.
The Brussels Times