Written question – Violence against refugee children on Member States' borders – E-006550/2017

At the end of last week the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) put the total number of refugees in the world at 22.5 million at least — about half of them children — and warned that they are being abused, discriminated against, and maltreated.

As far as children are concerned, the situation is even more serious, since the numbers who are alone — according to UNHCR findings — have been tending to rise. These include children who have come to Europe from Syria and, more generally, the Middle East or from South Sudan.

Presenting a similar picture, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) has warned that children and young people stranded along with thousands of adults are being subjected to continual acts of violence — including beatings, humiliation in various forms, and attacks with dogs, carried out even by police forces at the borders of EU Member States (which closed their borders with Serbia in March 2016).

In addition to suffering severe physical and mental harm, children are being pushed into the arms of the traffickers whom the EU claims to be fighting.

Given the seriousness of the facts set out above, can the the Commission supply detailed information and take the investigation further? How can the present situation be halted?