Rape, abuse stalk migrant children in French slums: UN

2016-06-18 09:06
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lille - Migrant children stuck in slums on France's northern coast face a "permanent danger" of sexual abuse or exploitation, the UN Children's Fund has warned, urging the creation of protected areas for minors.

"They fear going out at night, after dark, for fear of rape," Unicef said in a hard-hitting report on unaccompanied children titled "Neither Safe nor Sound".

The children's "living conditions..., the violence experienced on the road, the risks of border crossings, the monetary relationships in shanty towns, and forms of the resulting enslavement, constitute a permanent danger" at all seven sites covered in a recent study, Unicef said.

The study, released on Thursday, was carried out between January and April at sites stretching from the Calais area to Normandy where around 500 children live without their parents.

The 90-page report drew particular attention to the risk of rape facing young Afghan boys because of the practice known as batcha bazi that allows them to be treated as "sexual objects" by men.

"Batcha bazi is viewed by Afghans as a legitimate practice," the report said. "According to the migrants we interviewed, these practices result in the rape of young boys being seen as more socially acceptable than that of girls."

Female minors risk sexual abuse or being lured into prostitution to raise money to enter some of the camps or to cross the Channel, which costs between €5 000 and €7 000, the report said.

"The situation in which [the children] find themselves shows evidence of a series of violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child," the report said, noting that both France and Britain are signatories of the 1990 UN treaty.

"All the children interviewed... complained of cold and fatigue," it said. "The most vulnerable among them were living in shelters that were very much exposed to the elements and had difficulty in accessing the distributed meals as well as showers."

The minors also said they suffered "recurring nightmares, anxiety problems, nervousness and aggressiveness", it said, adding that they are increasingly seeking psychiatric care.

The study decried the lack of facilities for minors and a "lack of coordination" between government and volunteer actors.

Among the study's recommendations were the creation of protected areas in the slums that are "secure and specific to unaccompanied children"; "regular training" regarding child protection for all those involved; and an emphasis on reuniting the minors with their families.

Read more on:    unicef  |  france  |  migrants  |  human rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.