Source : www.thebureauinvestigates.com
Most unaccompanied minors do not apply for asylum but claim institutional protection as children which allows them to stay until they are 18. Many come from Mali in West Africa, Morocco, and Afghanistan.
Many of the lone young people apply for temporary leave to remain at 18, which needs to be renewed every year.
French police officers unsuccessfully try to send boys claiming to be under 18 across the Italian border, in the northern city of Ventimiglia.
Unlike adults, under the EU’s Dublin Regulations, countries should not remove unaccompanied children if they have registered in another country first.
The French government says a bone-test - an X-ray of the hand and wrist - can be used to determine the age of those claiming to be under 18. The largest scientific bodies in France, such as the National Academy of Medicine, have stated the measures used are unreliable and unethical due to the potential harm by radiation.
France has returned former unaccompanied minors to their countries of origin , including Afghanistan, according to a French social worker. However, despite the Bureau’s repeated requests to the French government, we have not been able to find any data on this. »