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France: Immigrant Children Being Denied Protection

Flawed Procedures in Alps Region Mirror Those in Paris, Elsewhere

Thursday 05 September 2019


(Paris, September 5, 2019) – 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.

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