The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found France guilty of inflicting “degrading treatment” on an isolated Afghan child while in France between 2015 and 2016. The, who was eleven at the time, had not been taken care of by the authorities. He had lived in the slum of Calais for about six months before moving to England, where he is now living.
“The Court is not satisfied that the authorities have done all that could reasonably be expected of them to meet the obligation of care and protection (…) in the case of a foreign minor in an irregular situation, that is to say, an individual in the category of the most vulnerable people in society,” summarizes the ECHR in a press release.
The minor found himself “in an environment totally unsuited to his condition as a child and in an unacceptable precariousness with regard to his age” , stresses the European court, which recalls “the insalubrity” and the “insecurity” of the “Jungle” of Calais.
In November 2015, the courts had ordered the state to identify all the unaccompanied minors present in the Pas-de-Calais and to entrust them to child welfare (ASE) for placement. For the young Afghan applicant, this shelter was not effective since “the general council was limited to organise composed of people with little training and without translators who did not prepare procedures for placement” .
In March 2016, the miner moved to England where he was cared for by the UK’s child welfare services. The associations regularly denounce the lack of care for unaccompanied foreign minors in France.