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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Child Abuse Watchdog Officials to EF for Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants Age Verification

CoE Child Abuse Watchdog Officials to EF for Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants Age Verification

Written by ACM
Monday, 06 March 2017

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Real Children's "Age Verification is a very Important Issue" Today, particularly in relation to Sexual Abuse and Migration, so that a special COE's Report with relevant "Guidelines" is expected asap, Replied to an "Eurofora" Question in a Press Conference in Strasbourg a key CoE Officer in charge of Data collection for the PanEuropean Organisation's Child Abuse Watchdog, the "Lanzarote" Convention's Committee for Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and/or Abuse. He spoke on the occasion of the Publication, later Today, of its Latest Report Exclusively on an allegedly Great Number of "Minors" among an UnPrecedented 1,5 Million Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants' influx in Europe via Turkey during 2015-2016, (See Estimated Numbers Infra).


    - Indeed, "there are a Lot of Individuals Pretending to be "Children", in order to get certain Advantages", acknowledged earlier the President of CoE's "Lanzarote" Committee, Claude Janizzi, an Expert from the State of Luxembourg, in an exchange with CoE's Officials, a copy of which was shown at the Beginning of Today's Press Conference in the Morning, before being published also at CoE's web site Later-on.

 

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 + Moreover, CoE's Report Estimates, which point at about 337.000 "Children Asylum Seekers", Focus a particular Attention on Risks for Sexual Abuses, concerning mainly around 88.300 "Unaccompanied Children", (down from a previous CoE Assembly Estimation of almost 100.000), during 2015,  60% of whom have even reportedly "Gone Missing".


    Among others, f.ex. also Germany's Federal Budget Authorities had anounced an Exceptionaly High Amount of Funds earmarked for Care reserved to such "Unaccompanied" Mass Migrant "Children" these years.


    - However, in Reply to a Question by "Eurofora" about the Younger or Older Age, and or the probable Cause of so many, reportedly "Unaccompanied Children" recently, CoE's Officer in charge of the Collection of Data, Mikael Poutier, from France, observed that "a Majority, are Older" Minors.


    - Moreover, many alleged Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants seem or claim to be about "16-17 Years Old", but, in fact, several times, it's "Not Clear" whether they are really Minors or Young Adults, he admitted.


    This seems Confirmed also by CoE's Final Report, Published Later Today, which observes that "Most Unaccompanied children in the EU are 16-17 year-Old", i.e. at the Borderline with Adults (from 18 years old).


    => Therefore, "Age Verification is a Very Important Issue" Nowadays, told us the competent CoE's Officer, (See also Infra).


    Inter alia, also because when one is Not really a Chlld, he/she won't have right to a special Protective Status. While also, Experience shows that "Mixing" Adults with Minors can Expose Real Children to various Dangers of Abuse, particularly when they Share some Collective Facilities Together, provoking Promiscuity problems, (Aggravated in some "overcrowded" Reception Centers, in case of Longer stay, etc).


    But several National Officials have already observed that Many among the Youngsters who recently entered in Europe via Turkey, appeared withOut any Official Document attesting of their Age, a lot of them routinely Claiming to be Minors.    


    During a special Hearing organized recently in Strasbourg by CoE's Assembly, on the sidelines of its Plenary Session, a Representative of "Amnesty International" from Germany denounced the Fact that a very DisProportionate Number of 2015-2016 Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants who arrived through Turkey claimed to be "Minors", in a much Bigger Percentage of that Total Population, than ever found in any other case, showing that Something AbNormal is going on, probably many among them Concealing their Real Age.

  

 Another Expert, from a French NGO, initialy said that PreExisting Medical Procedures for Age Assessment (some from a Remote Past) appeared Difficult to handle and/or of UnCertain Accuracy, or inadequate in such special cases. But when he was Questioned by "Eurofora" on whether it was Both Necessary and Feasible to Find some More Efficient Scientific and Practical Methods of Age Verification, that Medical Expert's Reply was clearly Affirmative.     


    => Therefore,  CoE has Recently entrusted a competent Committee "on Children's Rights" with the Task to "Define Guidelines for Age Verifications", and we are all Waiting the Conclusions of its forthcoming "Report" on that "very Important matter", Anounced CoE's Official Mikael Poutier, in Reply to "Eurofora"s Questions.

 

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He was speaking about "CANHEF", (set up Last Year for the "Implementation" of the PanEuropean Organisation's "Strategy for the Rights of the Child", and relevent "Expertise" on Legal "Standards", while also Following particularly the Work of Monitoring Bodies as the "Lazarote" Committee against Sexual Abuse, etc), which has already Decided to form "Drafting Groups" of Experts on Children and "Digital" Technologies, as well as "Migration", since September 2016, and is due to Meet at the End of March 2017 in Strasbourg, but also on Autumn 2017.  


    - Until then, it's "Too Early" to make more specific comments on that Hot Matter, he Carefuly Advised. While, f.ex., as Other CoE Officers observed, in case of "Doubt" for the Age of Young Victims of Sexual Abuse, if there are reasons to Believe that they are Children, Lanzerote Convention asks to consider them as such, Pending Verification of their Real Age, in order to ensure their Protection from Agressors Assaulting them, CoE's Report reminds Today, urging Member States, as f.ex. Hungary, (an Exceptionaly Affected EU Country from that UnPrecedented Massive Influx of Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants from Turkey, particularly in Proportion to the Hungarian Population), which don't yet seem to have done so, to Adapt their Practice accordingly.


    Meanwhile, however, published Photos f.ex. of an alleged "Minor" (looking, in fact, as a Grown up Teenager or a Young Adult Aged 18-21) from the Recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants' Group which had arrived via Turkey up to Sweden, strolling among obviously very much Younger Swedish Children inside Schoolyards and/or Collective Sport Facilities, obviously Raise Critical Questions also on eventual Risks for the Real Children Exposed to such a Promiscuity.  


    CoE's 1st PanEuropean Investigation "Urgently" made by the CoE on Sexual Child Abuses and recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, as Published Later Today, Revealed a quite Unexpected "Lack of Data" collected by National Authorities about such reported Abuses having being Committed by various Other Persons to the Detriment of these "Refugee Children" between 2015-2016, CoE's Officials told Journalists, including "Eurofora", this Morning in Strasbourg, even if several National Authorities reportedly Feel that Real Numbers of such Incidents could be Bigger, in Real Practive, from what has been formaly Reported.


    The Failure to Find enough Official Data about Sexual Abuses committed against Real Children among the recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants brought mainly by Turkish Smugglers through Greece, etc, (Except from 49 such Victims inside Turkey itself, to the Detriment of Syrian Refugees, and 4 in Belgium, etc), might also be due to the  Fact that Many among those People have reportedly had a Bad Image of Public Authorities in general, possibly because of Problems Experienced also in their Countries of Origin, which makes it particularly Difficult for them to Trust Officials, according to some CoE's sources.  


    But, while such "Data Collection Mechanisms" probably Need to be Built yet, with Adequate and Efficient Methods, as CoE's Officers pointed out, nevertheless, already, various Mainstream Press Reports throughout Europe have Already Denounced several such Sexual Abuse Attacks, sometimes even very Brutal, either Between Refugee Children and Adult Mass Asylum Seekers, or between the Latter and Ordinary Children, or even some Grown up Teenagers, even Young Adults, living in Europe since long, including European People, that CoE has the Duty to Protect too :


    F.ex., among several other Real Cases, Recently reported by Mainstream Press, are Included also : 2 Young Refugee Children sexualy assaulted in "Hot Spots" located at Greek Islands near Turkey ; 1 or 2 very small Boys from a Refugee Family, sexually assaulted by a Young Mass Asylum Seeker in a Collective Facility at Berlin, Germany ;  2 British Girls aged Only 14 Sexualy Assaulted by 4 or 5 Young Mass Asylum Seekers at a Park in the UK ; in Sweden, an "UnAccompanied Minor" Sexualy Molested 2 Girls aged 8 - 10 at a Swimming Pool (where also several Other such Sexual Abuses against Real Children had already taken place, according to the Public Authorities) + Moreover, a Girl aged 16 was Knifed at the Head by a Mass Migrant Teenager, Karim Ageri, Claiming to be 15, but, Found to be "at least 18", who had Attempted to have Sex with her ; during a Music Concert at Darmstadt (Germany) Girls aged 12-13 were Sexualy Assaulted by Teenagers of Migrant origin, alike several among those who made Violent Mob Attacks on Young Girls in Cologne, at New Eve's Night ; a 10 Years old Serbian Boy (from a European Refugee Family of Former-Yugoslavia) was Raped in a Public Bath at Wien (Austria) by a Teenager Mass Asylum Seeker/Irregular Migrant (accompanied to the Pool by a Social Worker, who didn't Nothing to save the Victim), after entering Europe via Turkey ; a 19 y.o. Student Girl, (Maria Ladenburger : Daughter of an EU Legal Officer, who used to Help Refugees in her spare Time), Raped and Murdered by an Afghan Mass Asylum Seeker/Irregular Migrant of UnDetermined yet Age, who had also entered EU via Turkey, after Committing in Greece a previous very Violent Sex Assault on another Young Girl, which was Hospitalized for Serious Wounds, after she was Thrown Down from an 8 Meters High parvis to a rocky Sea Coast.

 

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    Scandalously, that Killer, Recidivist Hussein Khavari, had been initialy considered as an "UnAccompanied Minor" too, when he entered Germany. In Fact, he had already been presented as a 17 Years "UnAccompanied Minor" in Greece, 3 Years Earlier, but was also Registered as an "Unaccompanied Minor" aged 16 when he afterwards arrived in Germany, several Years Later on ! Only After these 2 Crimes he was recognized as an Adult. Meanwhile, he had been Awarded a place in a German "Foster Family", (normaly reserved only for isolated Mass Refugee Children).


    That Tragic, Deadly Blunder was reportedly due also to a Lack of Sufficient Coordination between the European Countries most Affected by that UnPrecedented 2015-2016 Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants influx vuia Turkey, (f.ex., in this case : Greece and Germany, etc), including by Initial Problems in the set up, use and functioning of the "EuroDac" System, etc.


    => Using sufficiently Wide Terms, interestingly, the Ultimate "Recommendation" made in Conclusion of the CoE's Report published Today, is for Member States to "Coordinate" Actions in order to "Facilitate the Prevention and Protection of (all) Children Affected, in the Refugee Crisis, from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse", without Any Discrimination between eventual Victims, nor their Abusers.


     - "Lanzarote Committee acknowledges that, in some circumstances, Children Already in the Country ("Before the Refugee Crisis" of 2015-2016) may be indirectly Affected by the Refugee Crisis, in a Variety of ways", resulting in "Situations" which have a real "Importance", COE's Report observes, citting "f.ex. ... Victim(s) of Sexual Abuse by ..Person(s) who Came to the Country", "or Because of ...Reduction to Social Aid", etc., while, however, Focusing, in that Text, on those who entered Europe during the 2015-2016 UnPrecedented Mass Population Movementrs.
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    Both CoE's competent Officers and its Report Denounced also the Abuses Haunting Children of this particular Wave of Migrants, very Predominantrly Muslim and apparently, at least partialy, Selected by Turkey, as mainstream Press Reports from Brussels' EU Experts have revealed, (f.ex. by a quasi-Systematic Exclusion of Educated People, of Christians, etc), even by "Forced" and/or "Child Mariages", (which may Threaten Real Children with Rape, etc), "Genital Mutilation" of Girls, etc.

    Current Estimates about Asylum-Seeking Children in European Countries during 2015-2016, widely Vary, f.ex., approximately, from Only 10 in Ukraine, but around 700 in Cyprus and in Luxembourg, up to about 40.000 in Hungary and in Austria, and even more than 65.000 in Sweden, topling with 135.000 in Germany. But Many "Unaccompanied Children" are Not Seeking Asylum, at least Not Yet. However, the "Lanzarote Convention applies to All Children", i.e. even "Street Children", (and, naturaly, also to Millions of European or Other Children already living since long in Europe), as CoE's Report explicitly reminds.


--------------------------


    CoE's Lanzarote Committee reportedly had to Postpone the 2nd Part (and more Practice-oriented) of its earlier work against Abuses of Children committed by individuals who Exploit a Fake Appearance of "Trustworthy" persons, (a delicate but Big Issue for Millions of potential Victims, throughout Europe and in the World, Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReport : ....), in order to "Urgently" deal Exclusively with cases of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants who suddenly infiltrated Europe via Turkish Smugglers on 2015-2016, as far as Children abuse risks are concerned. So that now, it's expected to Return Back into that main PanEuropean/International Issue asap, for a 2017-2018 New Report, CoE's competent Officer Mikael Poutiers told "Eurofora" in substance.


-------------------------------------

    + Meanwhile, another Problem is that Eventual Lack of Sufficient Protections and/or UnReported Sex Abuse of Real Children among fragile Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants (most of them notoriously Exploited by Turkish Smugglers, already, many of whom are Linked to various Mafia-like Networks, according f.ex. to UK - USA Press), might also Aggravate Risks for them to Fall even Victims of Sex Trafficking Networks, Later-on, CoE's Officials Warned Journalists in Strasbourg, including "Eurofora".


    ++ A Press Agency collegue from France raised the Question (present also in COE's Report) of eventual Dangers for some "Sexual Predators" to Attempt to Infiltrate certain NGOs allegedly "Helping" f.ex. the recently arrived Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants via Turkey. CoE Officials' Reply was mainly that States are Obliged to Take Sufficient Measures for an "Effective" Protection of all Children from Abuse, and this should include f.ex. appropriate "Vetting" of any Civil Servants, NGOs, and/or other Persons due to Deal with Children, particulary those who are in a Fragile Situation, as, f.ex., Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, etc., in order to "Ensure" and Adequate Protection against any eventual Attempts for Abuses somewhere from Children's "Circle of Trust".


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    + Meanwhile, in a Partly Related Issue, the Director of CoE's Child Abuse Watchdog, Mrs Gioa Scappucci, from Italy, speaking to "Eurofora", acknowledged possible concerns about risks for an eventual "SetBack" in UK's formely Active and Succesfull Investigations against Child Abuse, (which had f.ex. Recently Discovered and Started to Punish a Wide-Ranging mainly Muslim Pakistani Migrants' Violent Gang Sexually Aggressing and Exploiting more than 1.500 British Children during More than a Decade, thanks to a Scandalous Cover-up by some Local Politicians, Police and/or Social Workers, etc), particularly After a more Recent Failure of anOther Investigation for Child Abuse allegedly committed in a Remote Past by some High-Ranking Politicians, and a subsequently Controversial Change of Scotland Yard's Top Officer who had overseen such Enquiries, (Comp., f.ex. : ....).


    - "But the UK is Not yet Member of (CoE's) Lanzarote Convention, as also Azerbaijan and 4 Other Countries, among CoE's 47 Member States, Scappucci Regretted, while also Observing that an eventual Accession of the UK to the PanEuropean Convention for the Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse would Strengthen CoE's Fight against that Plague. Particularly given its recent Experience in Investigating such Crimes and the Possibilities of PanEuropean "Cooperations" in the Fight Against this, systematicaly Favoured by the CoE Convention's Monitoring mechanism.


    However, Recently, at least 2 Non-European but Neighbouring Countries, Tunisia and Morocco, etc., have shown an Interest into eventualy being involved, to CoE's Child Protection Mechanisms, including against Sexual Abuse, i.e. the "Lanzarote" Convention's body, which has also a Wider Regional, almost International vocation, CoE's Officer Poutier added to "Eurofora" for the foreseable Future.

 

(../..)

 

 

***

 

 

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).

 

 

***

 

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