Africa: Abuse of Children Rife At France-Italy Border

Tripoli — FRENCH border guards have allegedly detained African migrant children under horrible conditions following their arrest at the border with Italy.

The minors are among at least 13 individuals that have been detained or pushed backed at the French-Italian border.

Most of the migrants have left Africa to Europe for greener pastures via Libya.

Testimonies gathered by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working at the border document how people have been repeatedly and unlawfully deprived of their liberty before being sent back to Italy.

A 17-year from Nigeria told NGOs how he was held with around ten adults in a container without functioning toilets for more than ten hours in May.

He was allegedly denied asylum.

Testimonies confirm that minors have been regularly detained together with adults, and that women are not always detained separately to men.

A girl from Ivory Coast said she was detained overnight in June for half-a-day with women and unknown men.

A boy from Senegal was allegedly held for nine hours and denied medical access for injuries sustained during his arrest.

The coalition of NGOs has submitted these and other testimonies to the prosecutor in the French city of Nice to investigate the alleged abuse.

Felipe González Morales, the global special envoy on the human rights of migrants, has also been urged to investigate.

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