Refugee children abused and illegally returned at France-Italy border

Child refugees are being abused, detained and illegally sent back to Italy by French border guards, according to a new report from Oxfam. 
Some children as young as 12 were being held overnight in cells without food, water or blankets, or access to an official guardian, the report states. 
French police routinely stop unaccompanied children and put them on trains back to Italy after altering their paperwork, either to make them appear older or to make it look as though they want to be sent back, the report states. 
Border guards have also cut the soles of the children’s shoes or stolen their mobile phone’s SIM cards, Oxfam staff said. 
One Eritrean girl, described as “very young”, was forced to walk along a road with no pavement while carrying her 40-day-old baby.
An estimated 16,500 refugees and migrants passed through the Italian border town of Ventimiglia in the nine months to April.
The majority were fleeing war and persecution in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea. Many were trying to reach other countries in the EU, such as the UK, France, Germany and Sweden.
Source: Independent

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