How Hollande broke election promise over child detentions


Despite his much-vaunted election promises, President François Hollande’s commitment to end the detention of child refugees and migrants has failed to materialise. In mainland France, 460 minors were detained between 2012-2016 and in the overseas département of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean, some 20,000 were locked up. The Léonarda scandal – when a Kosovan child on a school trip in France was arrested pending deportation – is just one example of the hardships faced by immigrant minors under the current presidency. Carine Fouteau reports.

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Expulsions to war-torn Sudan with its endemic repression; refugees forced to sleep on the streets of Paris in breach of of both French and international laws; hundreds of asylum-seekers making claims under the Dublin convention dispersed to other European countries and plunged into a Kafka-esque nightmare of bureaucracy; activists arrested for helping refugees; a baby in hospital after having spent thirteen days in a holding area – these are examples of the direct effects of migration policies on the lives of  refugees during the presidency of François Hollande.