The Latest: UN scolds France, UK over kids' rights in Calais

AP News
Posted: Nov 02, 2016 10:22 AM
The Latest: UN scolds France, UK over kids' rights in Calais

CALAIS, France (AP) — The Latest on the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers into Europe (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

A U.N. panel says disagreements between Britain and France over a migrant camp in the French city of Calais on the English Channel have "led to major violations" of the rights of children there.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child says the best interests of children have been "disregarded" in part for political considerations.

The committee, which monitors application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, noted in a statement Wednesday how some children had been forced to shelter "in disused shipping containers or sleep outside as the makeshift 'Jungle' camp was demolished."

The panel said hundreds of children were subjected to "inhumane" living conditions and left without adequate shelter, food, medical and other support, and said France and Britain "fell seriously short of their obligations" under the convention.


2:40 p.m.

A European Union task force that's training the Libyan coast guard to intercept migrant traffickers acknowledges there will be safety risks.

The head of Operation Sophia said Wednesday the training program expects to see Libyan forces take control "in the spring of next year" of rescue operations in their territorial waters, where about 3,000 migrants die annually.

Rear Adm. Enrico Credendino added, however, that with the country in turmoil, it's difficult to ensure rescues will be carried out safely and according to international law, and that migrants brought back to Libya can be cared for properly.

The program has come under scrutiny amid reports that Libyan naval vessels opened fire on migrant and charity boats. Also, questions remain on how Libya can manage migrants returned to its shores.


2:20 p.m.

Belgium's immigration minister, Theo Francken, is refusing to grant humanitarian visas to a family in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo despite being fined 4,000 euros ($4,438) a day for defying an appeal tribunal.

A lawyer for the family, Olivier Stein, told The Associated Press Wednesday that the tribunal ruled three times that visas should be granted to the two adults with children aged 8 and 5.

Francken has been visited by a bailiff directed by the tribunal, demanding 1,000 euros per person for each day that visas are not delivered. The tally so far is more than 30,000 euros.

On Tuesday, Francken told state broadcaster RTBF: "We're going to use all possible legal means to fight this affair. This is going too far."


9:20 a.m.

French authorities have begun busing underage migrants out of Calais to processing centers around France, amid tensions around the closure of Calais' vast migrant camp.

Three buses carried unaccompanied a group of boys, mainly teenagers, out of the camp Wednesday morning.

French authorities transferred more than 5,000 adult migrants out of Calais last week, but the fate of its 1,500 unaccompanied children remained unclear. Migrants from the Mideast and Africa converged on the jungle camp in hopes of crossing the English Channel to Britain.

President Francois Hollande said this week that the children would be transferred within days to "dedicated centers" where British officials can study whether they have the right to U.K. asylum. Hollande said the others would be put under the care of French child welfare services.