Délégationdu Pas-de-Calais

Nord-Pas-de-Calais region - Unaccompanied minors are in danger

Médecins du Monde and Secours Catholique-Caritas France once again have to resort to the French Justice

Paris, February 3rd 2016

Within Calais or Grand Synthe camps, there are several hundreds of unaccompanied minors living a very precarious life. They are particularly vulnerable and exposed to violent acts of all sorts ; some of them have family members living in the United Kingdom and need to urgently benefit from legal specific protection measures.

The French State has to take up its responsibilities ; our associations decided to intervene voluntarily supporting several application for interim measures filed by unaccompanied minors so that legal protection measures are applied and the minors’ rights are protected. The aim is to obtain from Government the implementation of procedures for these young people to join legally the UK and there find their relatives.

In October 2015, the Administrative Court of Lille and then the Supreme Administrative Court (“Conseil d’Etat”) had both recognised that the situation in the “Jungle” was serious and needed urgent action ; they both requested the State to take appropriate and urgent measures to respond to the essential and vital needs of those women, men and children staying in the camp. The Supreme Court had ordered on November 23rd the authorities to conduct, within 48 hours, the identification of unaccompanied minors in distress and to put them immediate to shelter.

Unfortunately, 2 months later, these urgent and legal protection measures have not yet been implemented. When it comes to unaccompanied minors, request for identification and protection measures are still largely insufficiently applied. Moreover, they have not been informed on their rights to be re-united with their families residing in the UK or to be granted asylum. The administration failure just makes it impossible for all minors who have families residing in the UK to ask for a legal admission in that country.

In such circumstances, our associations alongside unaccompanied minors intervene to the “Juge des Référés [1]” to compel the State :
- To call by the seizure of the Prosecutor the appointment of an ad hoc administrator with the task to represent the minors and to insure their full rights are effectively guaranteed.
- To implement the adequate measures for the minors who have close family members residing in the UK, to be able to join them legally, by the mere implementation of European agreements, so that families are safely re-united.

Press contact :

• Médecins du Monde :
Aurélie Defretin ‐ Lisa Véran
01 44 92 14 31 // 06 09 17 35 59

• Secours Catholique : Sandrine Verdelhan
01 45 49 74 93 // 06 61 54 10 69

[1] Judge sitting in chambers dealing with urgent matters.

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