The Protestant Social Action Center welcomes these young people who can forget, for one night, the hassle of the street. Report to the Goutte d’Or.

They have been at the heart of media controversies for a few days. Unaccompanied minors in Paris are accused of repeated assaults and thefts. Children, mainly Moroccan, who have made the Goutte d’Or, a popular district in the north of Paris, their meeting place and squatter. The phenomenon has existed since 2016 without the authorities succeeding in containing it. The Protestant Social Action Center (Casp) nevertheless tries to create a link and help these minors.

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Behind the door of this discreet house, these young people can forget, for one night, the hassle of the street. In the dining room, there are six of them eating a cordon bleu-frites, five Moroccans and an Algerian. There is in particular Mohammed, fake gold chains around the neck and finger rings. He claims to be 17 years old. He explains why he left Morocco at the age of 14: “There is no job, no luck.” He says he came to France to “a much better future” and “not for the money”.

Young people who carry the stigmata of the street on them, their gait is heavy and because of fatigue, their faces are marked. One of the mediators of this night reception serves as our translator: “He has a bruise on his face, he said it’s the street. ‘Zarka’ means the street. He fought. They’re all damaged.” We have a longer chat with this boy with bleached blond hair. His forearms are lacerated with deep scars, which he seems to have inflicted on himself. He left Casablanca at the age of 10 and took reckless risks to come to France. “I struggled, I struggled”, he insists.

He doesn’t have a simple life. He was snorting glue in Morocco. During the trip he passed while being under a truck.Casp educator

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When we ask them how their days are punctuated, one of them says he is moonlighting in the Barbes district, before another asks him to tell the truth and he actually admits that they all steal to survive. “‘He said that, on the other hand, their thefts are not about people, about assaults, specifies the educator. If they steal, him anyway, it’s more like shoplifting. “

In the discourse of these adolescents, this question of protection that they ask for comes up constantly. Why did you choose France? “Because in France, there are rights”, answers one of them. This is precisely what this reception structure is trying to do, but the task is particularly complex. “These young people have been without rules for a very long time, explains Aurélie El Hassak Marzorati, general manager of the reception center. These are young people who travel a lot, who move from one city to another and from one country to another. “

Sometimes we welcome them for a day and we lose sight of them altogether. We find them a long time later.Aurélie El Hassak Marzorati

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A problem that affects other cities in France, such as Bordeaux or Rennes. To stem it, there is only one solution, considers the deputy La République en Marche from Ille-et-Vilaine Florent Bachelier: to work directly with Morocco. “The subject is upstream, he says. How do we ensure that these young people do not come to French territory? So, it is the discussion that the President of the Republic had with the King of Morocco at the time, which was relaunched to create on-site accommodation centers, care and education centers. ” And this is precisely the subject of a forthcoming trip by Gérald Darmanin. The Minister of the Interior is going to Morocco on October 15.