French police have moved into the so-called “Jungle” in Calais to begin dismantling part of the migrant camp.
At the weekend, the authorities toured the area urging residents to leave following a court decision on Thursday approving a government plan to clear the southern part of the shanty town.
On Friday, the French government, which vowed to carry out the order humanely, said some 500 extra places would be made available in reception centres for those displaced.
Thousands of migrants and refugees, many fleeing war and poverty, have converged on the northern French port seeking to reach Britain.
The court order follows concern over the camp’s squalid conditions and security – migrants have clashed with police and tried to board lorries approaching the port.
Care4Calais is among the groups that have opposed plans to dismantle the camps at the French courts.
A legal appeal against the ruling had been lodged last week and is expected to be heard soon.
But many migrants are reluctant to leave, afraid that they will be detained or documented.