10:45 GMT10 July 2020
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    Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe (162)

    Three associations have filed a complaint against Pas-de-Calais Prefect Fabienne Buccio over violations of children’s rights during their evacuation from the Jungle migrant camp in the northern French city.

    A man holds a placard reading Human not beast during a rally on November 2, 2016 in support of migrants living in a makeshift camp near the Stalingrad metro station in Paris, prior to its evacuation this week.
    © AFP 2020 / Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt
    The evacuation of 1,616 minor migrants from the camp violates the "mechanism of children’s rights protection, in the form this mechanism exists in France," said Jean-Francois Martini from the Immigrants Information and Support Group (GISTI).

    The two other associations are the Advocates for Protection of Foreigners’ Rights (ADDE) and the French Syndicate of Rights Advocates (SAF).

    "What we demand is that [the evacuation] is carried out under the control of a judge that is called a juvenile court judge and under the control of the local juvenile social service," Martini told Sputnik France.

    In September, the French government announced plans to create centers to house the 12,000 migrants who will be evacuated from the illegal camp in Calais. The centers will be built all across France, except in Paris and Corsica.

    Those unaccompanied minor migrants were moved from the Calais camp to reception and orientation center across the country. The authorities ignored the mechanism of protection of children’s rights, thus having established a "completely outlaw system," Martini pointed out.

    According to him, information on all minor migrants should be submitted to a judge and then those children should be sent to institutions controlled by child protection services.

    "A side effect adds to the situation. In itself, the evacuation is an act of violence. Early in the morning, they are divided into groups and locked up in the center. A few days after, they are moved to reception centers across France. For many of children minors, this procedure is akin to violence," Martini said.

    He added that such measures could have negative consequences for their future.

    "Some of them escape from those reception center and start living on the streets. They are unaccompanied minors and in danger. And for those who remain in reception centers, there is much uncertainty about the future," he said.

    Another serious problem is the poor level of support and education in those centers.

    According to the official requirements for reception centers for minor migrants, children should only learn French, which means that their full-scale school education is delayed.

    "This will be a problem in their future, because when they turn 18 they will be able to receive a residence permit only if they have a school certificate," Martini explained.

    Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe (162)


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    children, migrant crisis, Calais, France
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