HRW Accuses France of Violating the Rights of Unaccompanied Migrant Children Featured

By Gamal Khattab January 30, 2024 919


 Human Rights Watch has accused France of not protecting unaccompanied migrant children properly according to a report in its electronic site.

The Situation in Marseille

The French department of Bouches-du-Rhône, which includes Marseille, the second-largest city in France, is not doing a good job of taking care of unaccompanied migrant children. Human Rights Watch has released a report called "Not the France I Imagined: Housing, Health, and Education for Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Marseille." This report says that child protection authorities in Marseille are not providing these children with the help they need.

Children Left Without Treatment

According to the report, children with health needs are being left on the streets without any treatment or support. They are not getting the medical care or help they require. This is really sad and not fair to these children.

Age Assessment Issues

Another problem is that when these children have their age assessed, half of them are not recognized as children. Can you believe that? However, when they appeal this decision, about 75% of them prove that they are indeed under 18 years old. It's really frustrating that they have to go through this long process just to prove their age.

Long Wait for Court Review

When these children appeal, it can take months or even years for their cases to be reviewed by a court. This means that they are not eligible for emergency accommodation and important services like legal aid, a guardian, proper healthcare, and education. It's not right for any child to be left on the streets while waiting for help.

Human Rights Watch's Call for Action

Michael Garcia Buchenek, a senior children's rights adviser at Human Rights Watch, said that no child should have to sleep on the streets while waiting for help. He also mentioned that it's really unfair to make these young people feel uncertain and insecure when most of them eventually prove that they are underage. Human Rights Watch is urging French officials to make sure that these children are not displaced, that their health needs are taken care of, and that they can get an education while their age assessments are being reviewed.

It's important to stand up for the rights of all children, no matter where they come from. Unaccompanied migrant children deserve to be treated with respect and given the support they need. Let's hope that France takes the necessary steps to protect these children and ensure they have a better future.

Source: Human Rights Watch