EU Must Make Foreign Govt.s Punish Parents to Stop Child Migration!


How do someone else’s children become Europe’s problem?

The EU must pressure foreign governments to punish parents who send their children on the perilous and illegal journey to Europe or face financial consequences. All too many parents in poverty stricken countries readily send their under-age children on the dangerous trek to Europe knowing that, if they make it, Europeans will care for them. These parents hope their children get papers and that they can join them in Europe later under Europe’s liberal family regroupment rules and that one day they get work and send money home.  Europeans are alarmed that about 10,000 of these children are unaccounted for.

The practice is an old one but, with the new waves of migration, more children are now encouraged by their parents to leave and risk falling into the hands of people who will exploit them.  Europol, the EU’s police agency, says that migrant smugglers are showing up on the agency’s human trafficking data base which indicates that some children are exposed to exploitation.

The EuroPol spokesman, Jan Op Gen Oorth, said that even though some of the 10,000 missing may have been passed onto family members, “EuroPol’s concern is we do not know where they are or what they are doing or who they are with.

So, Europeans are concerned while the parents and the countries of origin do not seem to care. The International Organization of Migration thinks “it’s shocking that we learn there are so many unaccompanied minors exposed to trafficking and other dangers.” But the IOM’s spokesman, Leonard Doyle, in stead of calling on governments to punish parents and stop the hemorrhage, insisted on “the need to protect vulnerable young people who find themselves at loose without friends in Europe and therefore vulnerable without proper mentoring and leadership.” For the IOM, other people’s children is first and foremost a European tax-payers problem.

How far will parents go in these countries to profit from Europe’s goodwill? One French NGO specialized in getting African orphans adopted in France, found out the hard way. In October 2007, Chadian police arrested all six members of the NGO, l’Arche de Zoé, and charged them with abducting 103 children they thought were orphans. The children’s parents had given the kids saying they were alone and without family, hoping to see them adopted in France where they would get papers, eventually bring family members and, one day, send money home. th-1
But the plot thickens. After the arrests, the parents then claimed the NGO had taken the children; that they did not know where they were and only recognized them on TV. Naturally, these upright Chadian parents, supported by their government, saw fit to demand financial compensation for the ordeal. th-2The six NGO members, after sentencing to hard labor in Chad and then pardoned by President Idriss Deby, were eventually sent back to Paris, tried and sentenced to shorter prison terms. thA total fiasco one French politician called “compassionate neocolonialism.”

th-1These kids are not Europe’s problem. Until the EU makes governments put an end to the practice, they will find themselves with more and more of other people’s offspring and the countries of origin have a lot of offspring to offer.

It is urgent Europe make the national governments of the countries of origin punish the parents to stop the kids from coming. It is also urgent that these kids be sent back home immediately, with guarantees of schooling and housing, in which the EU could assist. It is many fold more than just the 10,000 who went missing and they are a big problem. Children and adolescents need special rules at this age so they can function in society later on. Without this education, like child soldiers, they are walking time-bombs.  If they fall into the hands of organized crime, they could well prove to be a nuclear holocaust in just a few years.


  1. Do you really believe such parents can be readily located , more so, by by legal officers? And that they have funds? And that they can read and write much less sign a document guaranteeing anything for their children, even once money changes hands? I listened to you in france24 and looked you up. Hence, I am surprised at the difference between the pragmatic man on tv and the concerned but unrealistic person in writing. Governments have responsibility. So, when one, anyone, is formed in Syria then youth must be returned to the government’s custody. Not going to happen… How many homeless children and youth born in Europe , in the west in general, roam the urban streets, lost and helpless…
    The fact is that I am sad as I write this not contentious . Best wishes



    1. Thank you for your comment. I have been working in and around Africa for 30 years and see these kids on the road. Many are caught along the way by African police. Children are registered at birth. Africa is not as backwards as you may think when it comes to registration. Same goes for Middle East, Central and South Asia. Many of those kids can be stopped and sent back and coerced in Europe to admit where they come from and given back to the respective governments. So, yes, I think in a majority of casses kids can be sent home, parents identified and punished.



  2. I sincerely hope you are right. I hope some worthy AND influential politicians are reading you and acting on this. How about some time in the future, a follow up on this and sharing whether anything changed. I am Israeli and I mind, regardless of the militant confrontations and garbled ideologies. Many Israelies do although world media likes to paint us differently. My grandparents didn’t even get to wander through Europe, they were deported and killed. I see the refugees, I see them.
    Best wishes, have you been to Israel?



  3. Thank you so very much for your encouragement. I understand the Jewish heritage of Europe. An Israeli Professor of History who I like very much, but whom many Israelis do not, describes what you are referring to in a way which brought tears to my eyes. He is Shlomo Sand, Professor of history at Tel Aviv U. There is a scene he describes, on a bus in Paris with his father, a holocaust survivor, and another man who gave them directions as they spoke German. Shlomo’s father asked his son to speak Yeddish because he knew the third man was also a survivor. Shlomo asked his father how he knew the man was Jewish, let alone a survivor, and the father answered “it’s in the eyes.” Some people think I lack empathy. I assure you I do not. I fear we are producing generations of angry insecure people, the way the Nazis have influenced Jewish collective consciousness for generations.



  4. The eyes. Indeed a strange thing. I recognize Israeli eyes. Walking in Manhatten, Rio, Berlin, I see the eyes, alert, intense, nervous. Often impolite, always curious instantly derisive and, most often, understanding in a flash, ready for action, whatever is required. Regarding your remark, survivability breeds suspicion, readiness, not necessarily anger as first response. Hence, if indeed good people engage in finding routes for the young, bearing the marks, they may still build a life. When Israel counted six hundred thousand an influx of 1.5 million Jews of Arab origin (or Arabs of Jewish origin ) were received here. Twenty years later, a million Russians, half not Jewish at all. It’s a struggle for all parties. Sand is not inclined to see the goodness… And of course I admit that action produces mistakes, wrong doing, pain in great measure. I never forget that for the grace of blind luck, well.. Here I am with a chance of reasonable life, tearful often yet free, with a chance of fighting back. A survivor too.
    Hope I am not bothering you. Sincerely, A



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