An 8-year-old boy from the Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros has been in a transit zone in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for 10 days after trying to enter France illegally.
While France has seen cases of stranded unaccompanied minors in the past, the boy’s plight has upset aid groups, who are frustrated at the government’s handling of unaccompanied under-age migrants.
The young boy’s plight is “an exceptional situation that to my mind has lasted too long,” said Pierre Henry, head of France-Terre d’Asile, a leading association helping migrants.
“The place of a child is not in a holding zone,” he said, adding that while he understood officials’ desire to make sure the child wasn’t the victim of trafficking, a judge could have kept him somewhere else.
“His place is not there,” he said.
The boy, who has not been publicly identified, landed at the airport on March 21 with a cousin’s passport on a trip to join relatives, according to the aid group Voix de l’enfant.
The regional administration on Thursday confirmed the boy’s presence in the waiting zone but would not comment further.