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Summary Five years after French authorities dismantled a sprawling migrant encampment on the edge of Calais, large numbers of migrants continue to arrive in northern France, many in the hope of crossing the Channel to reach the United Kingdom. Today…
News
Five years ago this month, French authorities dismantled the sprawling Calais migrant encampment known as the “Jungle,” dispersing hundreds of men, women, and children to refugee centers across the country. But because the draw of northern France is its…
Abdul Saboor at his home in Paris, March 2021.
News

Strategy of Enforced Misery Against Children, Adults

(Paris) – French officials regularly subject adults and children living in migrant encampments around Calais to degrading treatment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Five years after French authorities demolished the sprawling…
Two children wearing winter coats stand in a forest in front of a group of police officers
News

Flout Child Protection, Immigration Rules

(Paris) – French police summarily expel dozens of unaccompanied children to Italy each month in violation of French and international law, Human Rights Watch said today. To enable the returns, the police frequently record on official documents…
A member of the French border police checks identity documents in March 2021 at the Menton-Garavan station, the first French train station for those travelling between Genoa, in Italy, and Nice, in France.
News

Stop and Punish Abuse, Provide Accommodation

On Monday night, I felt shame and disgust as I watched videos of law enforcement officers from my own country violently removing people from their tents in Paris’ Place de la République, confiscating makeshift shelters and sleeping bags, and violently…
500 tents to shelter migrants were set up on Place de la République in Paris on November 23, 2020, before being violently dismantled by police forces
News

Over a Thousand Still Stranded in Hellish Conditions on Greek Islands

In recent days, France has welcomed 49 children flown in from the nightmarish situation in the camps on Greece’s Aegean islands, where thousands of asylum seekers and migrants are stranded in horrendous conditions. On August 20, France relocated to…
Two boys walk in a makeshift camp next to the Moria camp for refugees and migrants on the island of Lesbos, Greece, September 17, 2018.
News

The Death Should Prompt Policy Change in London and Paris

It is almost five years since the body of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy, washed up on a beach in Turkey. After fleeing the war in Syria with his family, Alan died when the family’s dinghy capsized as they tried to make the dangerous journey…
A group of people thought to be migrants crossing the Channel in a small boat headed in the direction of Dover, Kent, United Kingdom, August 10, 2020.
News

Authorities Should Urgently Protect Them, Give Them Shelter

Since June 30, unaccompanied migrant children have been camping in central Paris, stuck in limbo while a judge decides on their fate. Aid organizations, including Médecins Sans Frontières and Utopia 56, set up a tent camp in a Paris park to shelter…
Unaccompanied migrant children camping at Jules Ferry Park in the 11th district of Paris, July 2020.
Report
Summary I was 10 the first time I was stopped [by the police]. The last time was three days ago. —Valoua, Paris, 23, April 2019 When I was little, I wanted to be a police chief but after what I’ve seen, I’m disgusted. The police should be…
News

Ethnic Profiling Fuels Distrust, Exclusion

Update 26 June 2020: On June 24, Human Rights Watch became aware of a letter from the General Directorate of the National Police, dated June 12, which had been sent to our Paris office in response to a questionnaire we sent to the Directorate on…
Police search a man at night
News

Bring Home Other French Children Trapped There

(Toulouse) – Human Rights Watch and nine other organizations issued the following statement on April 21, 2020: We, the undersigned civil society organizations have learned of the alarming situation of young Taymia, a 7-year-old child of…
201902syria_al-Hawl_camp
News

Migrant Children in France Left in Limbo and at Risk of COVID-19

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ordered France to take steps to protect a child who was sent back to the streets in early March in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. The victim, or applicant, is a Guinean boy…
Migrants hold a banner reading "SOS isolated minors unprotected and on the street = abuse" as they demonstrate against the living conditions of unaccompanied migrant minors and the lack of accommodation, outside the departmental council building in Marsei
News

Unaccompanied Migrant Children Deprived of Basic Services in Marseille and Gap

  (Paris) – Migrant children are being left at risk to the coronavirus because of failures by child protection authorities in Marseille and Gap, France, Human Rights Watch said today. Unaccompanied migrant children are not being given shelter…
Bâtiment du diocèse de Marseille occupé par le Collectif 59 Saint-Just, où vivent actuellement 200 personnes, dont des familles et environ 100 enfants migrants non accompagnés, Marseille, France, octobre 2019.
News
  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
News

The French Ombudsman Confirms Human Rights Watch’s Findings

  As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child tomorrow, the reality for many children around the world falls far short of the guarantees outlined in the treaty. Children fleeing abusive situations in…
Daouda S., a 16-year-old unaccompanied boy from Guinea, has slept on the streets of Paris for weeks at a time while he waits for a judge to hear his case. Occasionally, he is able to stay with families for short stretches. Photograph by Roopa Gogineni.
News
A 16-year-old boy named David is one of a group of children lodging a UN complaint against France and four other countries for its lagging efforts to fight the global climate crisis. David is from the Marshall Islands, on the front line of the…
Youth activists from all continents have brought a complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on climate change.
News

Children Sought Shelter in a Squat When No Shelter Was Provided to Them

In Marseille, France, unaccompanied migrant children whom child protection authorities failed to provide a living place for have been squatting in an unoccupied building owned by the Catholic church. Now, even though it’s the Bouches-du-Rhône…
Bâtiment du diocèse de Marseille occupé par le Collectif 59 Saint-Just, où vivent actuellement 200 personnes, dont des familles et environ 100 enfants migrants non accompagnés, Marseille, France, octobre 2019.
Report
Summary Joshua F. left his home in Cameroon with his younger sister in 2016, when he was 13, after their parents died in an accident. His father’s family took the house and his father’s workshop, turning the two children out. They left Douala and…