Number of children in detention doubles 6.7.16


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The number of families with children locked up in detention in France doubled in 2015 compared to the previous year, finds a new report entitled 'Centres and Sites of Administrative Detention' by La Cimade and four other organisations


In 2015, 48,000 people were held in detention, among them 52 families with 105 children. More than half were in mainland France (58%), with the rest in the overseas territories.

"Does it need to be recalled that the best interests of the child must take precedence over arrest and confinement which, however brief, can be deeply traumatic for children?" ask the authors of the report, five French NGOs: Assfam, Forum Réfugiés, France terre d'asile, l'Ordre de Malte and La Cimade.

Other vulnerable people that have been detained in the 24 detention centres across French territories (mainland and overseas) include asylum seekers, pregnant women and victims of human trafficking.

In Mayotte, an island in the Indian Ocean that is legally part of France, over 4000 children have gone through detention, often accompanied by adults who have no parental authority over them.

Despite many denouncing the practice, the report states the authorities have made no attempts to reduce it and detention of children in Mayotte is 30 times more likely than on the mainland.

In mainland France, only 46% of people held in detention were removed to other countries in 2015, nearly half of them to another Member State of the European Union.

In October 2015 efforts by the French authorities to remove migrants living in Calais led to the forcible detention of over 1,000 people, a majority of them from Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea. All, the report notes, are "eligible for international protection".

The report denounces the gross abuse of power "which has made the situation only more precarious for people who have experienced great deprivation", and asks whether the detention of people is really worth it.


Centres et Locaux de rétention administrative: 2015 rapport, June 2016 (pdf)

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