A whole series of CAOMI (Centers of Reception and Orientation for minors – see here, here, here and there) closed their doors today. Decisions that the minors concerned generally learned a few days before, as well as what would become of them afterwards.
Among them, the CAOMI of Saint-Cast, in Brittany https://goo.gl/maps/k2s1pygQXZo. One can read in the press that of 31 minors welcomed, the French authorities managed to get rid of 28, only 3 finally accessing the protection to which they were entitled as soon as they arrived on French soil as minors.
Among the 28, 11 were fortunate to have a fate consistent with their migratory project, and to have legal access to the United Kingdom. The fact remains that at no point in their stay in France, in the streets of Paris, in the shantytown and in the containers camp in Calais, in the CAOMI, did they have access to the protection to which they were entitled by the French authorities.
For the others, 3 were considered major, and 14 simply left. So we have 14 isolated minors on the roads, without really knowing where they are, and that seems normal. Assuming that 31 youth left for a summer camp or school trip, 14 of them disappear: normally someone is concerned about their fate, and there are questions about the seriousness of the institution responsible.
Things are even more worrying when you read the interview of the director of the center (which you can download here). Everything is fine. Just: the 14 disappeared have become “Six, declared major by the British authorities, left the center by themselves, at the beginning of January, after having understood that England would not receive them. “It is cool, they are major, except that the summary procedures put in place by the Home Office have no value under French law, and that as long as the procedure provided for in French law has not been implemented they are presumed to be minors. And the 8 others: “The others went back to Germany, or to a relative in Paris. A solution was offered to everyone and everyone chose the one that seemed best suited to their situation.” It’s cool, it’s just isolated minors on migratory routes, a dangerous situation that falls under French child protection law.
Let us take again the idea of this school trip in which 14 minors out of 31 have disappeared – in terms of responsibility the parallel holds the road. The director of the school would express himself in this way. On the one hand he would not share the information, on the other hand it would incur criminal prosecution for disappearances of minors under his responsibility. While here, with regard to isolated foreign minors, he will probably receive congratulations.
Faced with so much casualness, and that at no time have these young people had access to independent legal support to challenge a decision that has been detrimental to them, whether it be the refusal of access to British territory the procedure of the Home Office or refusal to be considered as minor.
Are we talking about the rule of law?
Brueghel l’ancien : The fall of Icarus