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Save the Children Charity: Migrant children forced to pay sexually for France-Italy crossing

Children Charity

France Migration–According to a report from Save the Children Italy, migrant children are being sexually abused to pay for their safe route from the Italian border into France. In case where minors, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, are unable to afford the €50-€150 asked by drivers in exchange for a lift across the border, they are forced to perform sex acts.

Besides, in requital of being abused these children are a being offered food and shelter. The charity claimed to have evidence of several cases, since the start of this year.

In the report, Raffaela Milano, the Director of Italy-Europe programmes at Save the Children, said, “These are very young, and particularly at-risk girls, who are among the invisible flow of unaccompanied migrant minors in transit at the northern Italian border who, in an attempt to reunite with their relatives or acquaintances in other European countries, are deprived of the opportunity to travel safely and legally.”

The girls “are strongly exposed to very serious risks of abuse and exploitation”, and in various cases they find themselves living in conditions “of great degradation”, she added.

The Italian border town of Ventimiglia is a major transit hub for migrants attempting to cross into France. The situation in the town intensified in April after a makeshift camp by the Roya river was cleared. Since that time, migrant children had been enforced to live on the streets in “degrading, promiscuous and dangerous conditions”, said the report.

As per the report, the migrant children were also being exploited sexually in other parts of Italy, including– Abruzzo and Marche, Rome, regions of Veneto, as well as the island of Sardinia.

The charity stated that between January 2017 and March 2018, over 1,900 girls had been sexually exploited across the areas. Out of these, 160 were proven to be children. According to the report, remaining were newly turned 18, or they were pretending to be adults.

Milano said, “It is unacceptable that in our country children and adolescents end up in the network of unscrupulous exploiters.”

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