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This tugs at my heart ...


suein56
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Absolutely Sue.  The whole point is that these are not adult asylum seekers they are CHILDREN.  Their own families may have abused them by trafficking them in this dreadful way - or may have been genuinely duped into thinking they were sending their children to some safer, better life.  It seems wrong that the French authorities also ignore their plight  Children do not choose this life - the rights and wrongs of the adults who exploit them are a bit irrelevant.  We as adults of whatever nationality surely have a duty to protect ALL children.
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From the article

"The night before The Independent encountered Ismail, three more children – Jamshed, 14, and his two younger cousins Waheed, 12, and Suheil, 10 – had slept under the same bridge. Jamshed, whose middle-class upbringing was clear from his precise English, admitted that his father, a doctor in Kabul, had sent the boys to Europe for economic reasons. "

A doctor , a so called educated man ...........wouldnt you think he would have checked out the facts before sending children to a fate like this ?

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I, as a French taxpayer, am absolutely appalled by this report. UK taxpayers are entitled to their own views, which I may not agree with, but there you go. I think this situation says volumes about France, if UK citizens thinking of moving to France can't see that, well consider there but for the grace of God go you, I hope everything goes swimmingly for you, and you never need ANY help from French officialdom. I can't see how anyone can ignore this, debate the illegality of the situation all you like, send them home (to what home?), hang the trafficers from the nearest lamp post, whatever you want. However, what are you going to do about about a scared, lonely, cold child, shivering in a foreign country, far from home? Well, if you're the French authorities, ignore them, let them move on, or die, they don't care. I do care. I've made my contributions of money, and time, to the Croix Rouge and Restos du Couer, the very least I can do.

I daren't show it to my wife, she thinks her countrymen are despicable enough as it is. And I'm starting to have concerns about returning to the UK, considering the amazing attitude of some UK contributors on here. Fortunately I have enough friends and relatives there, to know that not everyone agrees with you.

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Thank you velcorin.  I too am ashamed of the people who talk about children like this.  I'm on the CCAS in our village and god knows I see enough misery here but this, as the OP said, is really heart wrenching.  Little boys of 10 and 12 should not be left under bridges like piles of rubbish whatever their nationality or origins.  That the French authorities allow this sickens me.
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[quote user="suein56"][quote user="Quillan"]As to the original post, I was thinking that I wonder who had given any thought about how they would live when they got to the UK, roof over their head, food on the table etc. Of course the answer is simple, the UK tax payer. [/quote]

My thought as OP was to point out that a) these children do exist here in France with the knowledge of the authorities and the police and b) that little or nothing is done to shelter them as, I understand, they should be, as they are minors.

Simply that, nothing more

Sue
[/quote]

You missed the point. My point is that if the UK government actively discouraged people from trying to reach the UK then these people would not be in France trying to get to the UK. The fact that they are in France and nobody appears to care is outrageous. I am wondering what the French authorities logic is behind not doing anything or don't they have any?

Might sound stupid but why don't they let these children phone/contact home (just once) free of charge. Then perhaps their parents would try and get them back home and/or might start spreading the word that its a waste of money trying to get your children to the UK as all the traffickers do is rip you off and the kids never reach their intended destination.

I would like to donate some money to help these children (specifically these children and nothing else) does anyone know how to do it?

 

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[quote user="Quillan"]

Might sound stupid but why don't they let these children phone/contact home (just once) free of charge. Then perhaps their parents would try and get them back home and/or might start spreading the word that its a waste of money trying to get your children to the UK as all the traffickers do is rip you off and the kids never reach their intended destination.

[/quote]

Better still why don't they just put them on a plane back to to Pakistan / Afghanistan.

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I would like to donate some money to help these children (specifically these children and nothing else) does anyone know how to do it?

There is a bit of a gray area here. Aiding illegal immigrants, is against the law in France, several charity workers have been arrested in Calais, even providing money to a charity specifically dedicated to the task may be illegal----if you knew this was the case. However, there is a legal obligation for the local authorities (police, sociale, etc) to ensure the welfare of illegal immigrant minors, but what happens, as seems to be the case here if those responsibilities are shirked. With it's normal acquisence to authority the French Media won't do much, and the charities have been driven out of town, so who?

Every once in a while the dark, callous, cynical side of offical France reveals itself, and the Media colludes. Think Rainbow Warrier, Chirac, Mitterand's parallel family, nuclear leaks, vache folle, poverty and crime, et alia, the way the Media acts will seem, to a British person, quite bizarre. Often people in the UK know more than the French about what's happening in their own country. The Media are told not to report something, so they don't, and everything appears rosy, no printing of stuff the Government and politicians don't want you to know here! OK, rant over.[:D]

It is changing, but very slowly, as there is also the issue of their offical, and unoffical, subsiduaries for the Media to consider.

Anyway to get back to the question. Restos du Coeur. They provide food for millions of impoverished French, Calais included, Brits included, because of the holes in the welfare system through which so many people fall. I'd recommend them. They will be a branch in your local town, normally up some back street, practical help is greatly prized. Google Coluche for more info. I've worked for them. If you really want to integrate, it's a great way to see the real France.

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[quote user="velcorin"]

Restos du Coeur.  If you really want to integrate, it's a great way to see the real France.

[/quote]

Couldn't agree more, Velcorin. Especially as Restos du Coeur are getting more and more stretched every year, and need more and more volunteers for their winter campaign.

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Funny enough I read only just the other day in Le Monde that some woman had been prosecuted for allowing some chap to recharge his mobile phone in her house. It did make me think how the refugee got a mobile phone and managed to keep up the payments anyway it could be she is fined 5,000 Euros or worse a prison sentence. This law about helping refugees goes back to 1945 and I can see why initially it was bought in but it is now very much out of date.

Likewise I also read about Restos du Coeur and the fact their food vans are constantly 'moved on' by the police. I am sure this is a part of the French culture that many English are not aware of or just ignore.

It's a shame really because I prefer to donate to a very specific thing or cause (after seeing how donors money is wasted in the UK) and it would seem there is nothing for these poor children. As somebody said after my suggestion for letting them contact their parents why don't the French government simply send them back home. I have now discovered that French law prohibits repatriation of refugees to countries that are at war. Seems to me this is an area where the European Court of Human Rights needs to get involved, not that the French will take much notice I suspect.

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I watched a program on the park in Paris (cant remember the name) where the Afghans camp, it is tolerated with compassion by the authorities and they make a point of seeking out  any children (and other vulnerable persons) and offering them hebergement, the vast majority refuse as it is just a staging post used by the traffickers on the way to the channel ports.

They reported on those children that had been "adopted" by the state, gained an education and citizenship and the majority of them had flourished with the minimum of support, some had gone on to win awards as the highest placed apprentices, they were at pains to say that the vast majority of  apprentice awards (I cant remember the term in english or French) were immigrants..

They also showed a guy who offered the refugees a gouter every afternoon, one that was spending his pension on buying medecines for the needy and a Medecin that was giving free consultations, they asked the question of the Gendarmerie whether these people were liable to prosecution under the law and they said (for them) it was a definite "Non", they used the law when they could against the people traffickers.

Quite probably the situation in Calais as regards children is exactly the same but it does not make for such good reading in the UK papers

For those of you that are really disturbed and concerned by the article why not go to Calais and offer to heberge some of the children whilst persuading the French authorities to take them into care? That way you would really know whether a blind eye is being turned or help is not actually wanted.

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Quillan, you're starting to sound a bit despondent.

In Germany or the UK the Media would hold the responsible authorities to account, on so many things. Doesn't happen here. That's the where I'd start, if I wanted to sort out the poverty and injustice in France.

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