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France

Unaccompanied minors who arrive in France are often traumatised by violence and abuse suffered on their journey and end up in inadequate reception facilities, facing a maze of obstructionist bureaucracy.

MSF's response to coronavirus in France

19 March 2020

In consultation with France’s health authorities, MSF is setting up activities to help detect and manage COVID-19 cases among the most vulnerable populations in Paris and the surrounding region.

People in precarious situations, such as migrants, the homeless and unaccompanied minors, are often in poor health due to their living conditions and exclusion from healthcare systems, making them more vulnerable to the epidemic.

MSF's response to COVID-19 in France will include mobile consultations and screening to reach these groups, and support with diagnosis, isolation and case management in both existing and prospective shelters.

Learn more about covid-19 >

Many unaccompanied minors who arrive in France are traumatised by violence and abuse suffered on their journeys. For most, obtaining recognition of their minority status is an arduous process. 

Map with all MSF projects in 2019

In 2019, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to provide assistance to young, unaccompanied migrants. Many of them had seen their applications for child protection turned down because they were not recognised as minors, often for disputable reasons.

We offer respite and care, and facilitate access to legal support and medical, social, psychological and administrative services in partnership with other organisations in an MSF-run centre in Pantin, a suburb of Paris. A total of 734 minors benefited from these services in 2019. 

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MSF's work in France: 2019

During the year, in partnership with Utopia 56, an association that helps migrants, we focused on expanding a network of volunteer families across the country to host minors throughout the course of their appeal, during which time they are excluded from any protection or assistance from the state. 

Hundreds of young migrants and asylum seekers across France are being forced to sleep rough because of the state’s failure to provide them with accommodation, despite having a legal obligation to do so. In response, from December, MSF started to provide emergency accommodation for up to 150 unaccompanied minors each night in Paris and Marseille. We also ran mobile healthcare clinics for migrants of all ages in Paris and continued to monitor the situation across the country, especially along the borders with Italy and Spain. 

At the end of the year, we called for a parliamentary investigation to look into violations committed by public authorities and take action to stop the patterns of abuse and violence against migrants and people standing in solidarity with them.  

FIND OUT MORE IN OUR INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY REPORT >

 

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