French paediatricians on the known and unknown effects of Covid on children

France — Report

The medical profession has been on a steep learning curve about the consequences, notably long-term, of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Covid-19 disease it causes. But mystery remains over many aspects of the virus, and in particular about its effects, and true infection rates, among the very young. Caroline Coq-Chodorge reports from the south-east French city of Lyon, where paediatricians with the country’s second-largest teaching hospital group recount their findings.    

French bishops kneel in penance over church’s role in child abuse

France — Link

A conference in Lourdes recognised that Catholic Church had allowed abuses to become ‘systemic’.

France's timid political response to damning report on child sex abuse in Catholic Church

France — Analysis

On Tuesday October 5th a report revealed the shocking scale of child sex abuse inside the French Catholic Church over many decades. The report's authors estimate that 330,000 minors have been the victims of sexual abuse within the church since 1950, a majority of them at the hands of ordained clergy. Since the report's publication the overall reaction from the political classes, both Left and Right, has seemed timid. Some politicians, however, are calling for the courts to intervene and for the church to undergo deep reform. Mathieu Dejean, Mathilde Goanec, Pauline Graulle and Ilyes Ramdani report.

Free counselling for French children suffering Covid crisis angst

France — Link

Following alarming reports of a surge in cases of mental illness among children due to isolating restrictions and anguish  brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic,  including attempted suicides and self-harming, French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced measures to allow free psychiatric counselling for affected minors.

The buried dark secrets of the ‘Sisters of the Good Shepherd’

France — Investigation

During the 1950s and 1960s in France, thousands of young girls considered to be from problem backgrounds were placed in care in institutions run by the nuns of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic order whose vocation was to ensure their welfare. A recently created association of those once sent to the hostels is now demanding recognition and compensation for the violence they say they suffered at the hands of the nuns, including physical and mental abuse and forced labour. But, as Sarah Boucault reports, the order is proving less than enthusiastic at opening up its potentially incriminating archives to public scrutiny.

New French law to protect child social media stars

France — Link

The French parliament has approved new legislation regulating the activities of under-16s who earn income as so-called “influencers” on social media, limiting the number of hours they dedicate to the role, protecting their earnings and enshrining their right to eventually remove their presence from online platforms.

The children who vanish from Charles de Gaulle airport

International — Investigation

Over recent years there have been numerous cases of unaccompanied Vietnamese minors who have simply disappeared after arriving in France at the main Paris airport of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle. Although supposed to be placed into the safe care of social services, the children are in fact led away by ruthless people traffickers, to be kept in conditions of slavery. This report was compiled in partnership with the journalistic collective Investigate Europe.

France repatriates 10 children from Syria

France — Link

No details on their destination in France nor the circumstances under which they left Syria were provided.

Orphans of French jihadists return to France from Syria

International — Link

A group of 12 children of deceased French jihadists was flown home on Monday from north-east Syria where they were held by Kurdish forces, the latest step in efforts to resolve the problem posed by the huge numbers of foreign jihadists and their families stranded in Syrian camps after the military defeat of the so-called Islamic State group.

France taken to EU rights court over stranded jihadist children

International — Link

The grandparents of a three-year-old boy and his sister aged four, who were wounded and captured with their French mother after the fall of the Islamic State stronghold of Baghouz and who are currently stranded in a detention camp in north-east Syria, have begun legal action against the French state before the European Court of Human Rights for refusing to repatriate the three. 

French MPs vote for 'symbolic' ban on smacking children

France — Link

Bill on 'corporal punishment' is considered symbolic as it does not sanction parents if they smack their children and is aimed at educating parents.

French mothers in former war zone in Syria face terrible choice

France — Link

France plans to start repatriating an estimated 150 children from former IS war zone but says mothers themselves will not be welcomed home.

French father jailed 'for rotting boys' teeth with Coca Cola'

France — Link

Man, who was described as an alcoholic, was jailed for three months after court found he had failed to meet his obligations as parent.

The French 'children' forgotten in Belarus

International — Link

Formerly displaced people from Europe were tempted 'home' to USSR but lost their previous nationality and suffered poverty and repression.

Charity denounces 'sex abuse of migrant girls on Italy-France route'

International — Link

Migrant girls, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, attempting to cross into France from Italy are being exploited by would-be smugglers offering to drive them across the on the countries' common Riviera border in exchange for sex acts, says a report by the Italian branch of the charity Save the Children.