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Comité des droits de l’enfant | Observations finales - France (CRC/C/FRA/CO/6-7)

Publié le lundi 5 juin 2023 , mis à jour le mardi 6 juin 2023

Date de la publication : 02/06/2023
Source : Nations Unies

Le Comité des droits de l’enfant exhorte notamment la France à :

  • Mettre fin à la détention des enfants étrangers dans les zones d’attente et les centres de rétention administrative
  • Aligner la procédure de détermination de l’âge sur le principe de la présomption de minorité, ce qui implique, en cas de recours, un maintien de la prise en charge par les services de protection de l’enfance durant la procédure judiciaire
  • Mettre fin au recours aux "tests osseux"

Extraits (p.13) :

«  I. Special protection measures (arts. 22, 30, 32-33, 35-36, 37 (b)-(d), 38, 39 and 40)

Asylum-seeking and migrant children

44. The Committee regrets that despite its previous recommendations, the situation of asylum seeking and migrant children remains unchanged. It remains seriously concerned that the State party does not sufficiently consider the best interests of the child as a guiding principle in all initial assessment processes and subsequent arrangements. In particular, the Committee is deeply concerned about :

(a) The continuous detention of families with children and unaccompanied children in waiting zones in airports, and other administrative detention facilities with poor conditions that are not adapted for children and without judicial or administrative oversight ;

(b) Arbitrary age assessment practices with continuous use of bone tests, despite the significant margin of error as confirmed by the Constitutional Council of the State party and the discretionary application of “manifest minority” ;

(c) Inadequate access by unaccompanied children to child protection structures, legal representation, psychological support, social assistance, health and education, as well as shelter, especially in the Pas de Calais and Nord departments ;

(d) Reported detention of unaccompanied children with adults, and reports of their removal, on the basis of an administrative decision.

45. With reference to its General Comment No. 6 (2005) on treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin, and joint general comments No. 3 and No. 4 (2017) of the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families / No. 22 and No. 23 (2017) of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the human rights of children in the context of international migration, the Committee urges the State party to immediately :

(a) Put an end to the detention of children on immigration grounds, including in waiting zones, with a view to eradicating this practice. The obligation to not deprive the child of liberty extends to the child’s parents and requires that the authorities opt for non-custodial solutions for the whole family ;

(b) Ensure that all alternatives to the detention of children be associated with strict safeguards and subject to effective external and independent monitoring ;

(c) Align the age assessment procedure with the principle of presumption of minority and give the person the opportunity to challenge the outcome through a judicial procedure. While this process is underway, the young person should be given the benefit of the doubt and treated as a child - and therefore kept within a child protection system ;

(d) Put an end to the use of bone tests as a method to determine the age of children, using instead other methods that are proven to be more accurate, including by recognition and reconstitution of civil status documents ;

(e) Increase outreach activities, especially in Pas de Calais and Nord departments to provide information and guidance for unaccompanied children, and provide shelter and adapt their child welfare services to meet the specific needs of the region ;

(f) Guarantee sufficient human, technical and financial resources throughout its jurisdiction to specialist and child-specific support, protection, legal representation, social assistance, and educational and vocational training of unaccompanied migrant children and build the capacities of law enforcement officials in this regard ;

(g) Ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all decisions and agreements in relation to asylum-seeking or migrant children. »

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