NGOs slam France over record migrant detentions and rights abuses

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The number of migrants held in immigration detention centres in France is by far the highest of any country in Europe and is “marked by numerous rights violations”, according to a joint report published by French NGOs, and which revealed that the number of children held in the detention centres reached “a sad record” last year, despite being illegal. Feriel Alouti reports.

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In 2014, there were 49,537 people detained in what are called ‘administrative retention’ centres and units on mainland France and its overseas territories, an increase of 9% on 2013, according to a 122-page annual report produced by NGOs the Cimade, the French branch of the Order of Malta, France terre d’asile, Assfam and Forum Réfugiés, all of which provide humanitarian and rights assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers.