Source : www.hrw.org (Human Rights Watch)
Auteur : Alice FARMER et Lilana KEITH
When Human Rights Watch first saw Yemi, the 17-year-old boy was huddled on a concrete bench in the corner of a windowless, graffitied holding cell run by the French border police. Clad in a stiff new leather jacket but otherwise without clothing warm enough to face Paris in January, Yemi had been in the cell for nine hours. Yemi’s testimony, whispered in English beneath the din of the other detainees, revealed his fears. He had no idea why he was locked up, no grasp of the paperwork the French had asked him to sign, and no understanding of when or how he would be able to challenge his detention.
Yemi’s despair and fear in detention is not unusual. Yemi, from Nigeria, is one of at least 12,000 migrant children who arrive in the European Union irregularly each year without a parent or other guardian. Tens of thousands more enter with a parent or another family member. Children like Yemi – whether travelling alone or with family – are all too often detained, denied their rights, and left without the care to which they are entitled.