8. Unaccompanied foreign minors
A. Obtaining assistance from the ASE (Aide sociale à l’enfance)
Unaccompanied foreign minors ("mineurs non accompagnés” or "MNA") must benefit from child protection measures. You are classified as an unaccompanied foreign minor if you are less than 18 years old and you have no legal representative in France. France has the obligation to protect you until you reach adulthood (18 years old), even if you have not made an asylum application. You have the right to make an asylum request. However, you are advised to start by first requesting child protection measures from the ASE (Aide sociale à l’enfance) connected to the department where you live, which will take care of your housing, health insurance, and education.
To decide if it will take responsibility for you, the child social assistance service (ASE) of your department will check during an interview that you are less than 18 years old and that you are genuinely unaccompanied in France:
- You must describe your journey from your country of origin;
- If you have identity papers, they will be examined.
1. Where to go for an assessment interview?
In certain departments, you must go to the Conseil départemental where the ASE is located.
In other departments, you must go to the reception and evaluation center:
- In Paris: the center is called the “DEMIE” (evaluation unit for unaccompanied foreign minors – Red Cross): 5 rue du Moulin Joly 75011 Paris (metro Couronnes, line 2) (métro Couronnes, ligne 2]. It may take several days to obtain an evaluation interview. Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 pm and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) ;
- In Seine-Saint-Denis (93), it is the “PEMIE” :1-15 rue Benoît Frachon 93000 Bobigny : 1-15 rue Benoît Frachon 93000 Bobigny ;
- In Val-de-Marne (94), it is the “PEOMIE” : 6 rue Albert Einstein 94000 Créteil : 6 rue Albert Einstein 94000 Créteil.
While waiting for your protection decision, the ASE must provide shelter for you. Two to three days after the interview, you must go to collect the ASE’s decision from the place where you had this interview.
2. If the ASE refuses to offer you assistance
You can make a direct request to the children’s court to order the ASE to assist you. This procedure may take several months. You do not have to wait for the court’s decision to apply for asylum.
If you live in the Paris area, you can get help in this process by going to the offices of the ADJIE (assistance and protection of young unaccompanied foreign nationals): 49 ter avenue de Flandres 75019 Paris (metro Stalingrad, lines 2, 5 and 7). In other regions, other associations can help you.
B. Making an asylum application as an unaccompanied minor
Requesting assistance from the ASE does not prevent you from requesting asylum. The procedure is the same as for an adult. You must be represented by an ad-hoc guardian (AAH) to make and submit your request. The ad-hoc guardian (AAH) is an adult assigned by the justice system to represent you and assist you in your administrative procedures regarding asylum. The AAH does not necessarily have extensive knowledge of asylum procedures: you must ask for help from one of the specialist associations. The prefecture must contact the public prosecutor to request they provide you with an AAH (even if you are receiving assistance from the ASE).
You may be placed into the fast-track procedure (factsheet 2) if:
- you come from a “safe country of origin”;
- your request for reconsideration is deemed ineligible;
- if you are considered as a threat to the public order, public security, or the safety of the state.
You cannot be placed in the “Dublin” procedure and transferred to the first European country where your fingerprints were taken (factsheet 3). France must register your asylum request.
You can ask to join a family member who has themself applied for asylum in another European Union country.
As a minor, you cannot be placed in housing in an asylum seekers’ reception center (Cada), nor receive the asylum-seeker’s allowance (ADA) (factsheet 2) . Only the ASE can house unaccompanied minors.