The latest news on this front comes from Human Rights Watch
Unaccompanied children arriving in France’s Alpine region undergo flawed age assessment procedures that deny many access to needed protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 80-page report, “Subject to Whim: The Treatment of Unaccompanied Migrant Children in the French Hautes-Alpes,” found that examiners whose job is to certify a child’s status as a minor – that is, under age 18 – do not comply with international standards. Human Rights Watch found that examiners use various justifications to deny children protection. These include children’s minor mistakes with dates, their reluctance to discuss particularly traumatic experiences in detail or work they did in home countries or while in transit, and what examiners deem as unrealistic life goals.
“Child protection should not be a matter of caprice,” said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director at Human Rights Watch. “Age assessments should afford children a fair process, not look for excuses to deny them protection.”
Human Rights Watch has found similar flaws with age assessment procedures in Paris and has heard accounts of arbitrary decision making by authorities elsewhere in France, suggesting that flawed procedures are a problem across France.
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