Adapting care provision and advocating for unprotected unaccompanied minors in Paris in the context of COVID-19



Gautier, L., Poveda, JD., Nguengang Wakap, S., Bouchon, M., Quesnel-Vallée, A. (2021)

Global Health Promotion

online janvier 2021

Unaccompanied minors (UMs) are children under 18 who arrive on the territory  of a foreign country without the care of a guardian. In many countries their access to social and health care services depends on their legal recognition as minors. For instance, in France, high rejection rates of minor status place unprotected UMs in social precarity, such that in Paris, civil society organizations (CSOs) have stepped in to offer social, medical, and psychological care to unprotected UMs. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic however, CSOs had to adapt their care provision.

We review promising CSO-led initiatives to ensure continuity of care for this population. In doing so, we highlight how, by promoting UMs’ healthy behaviors in the context of the pandemic, continued social interactions between CSO members and unprotected UMs may have contributed to disease prevention among UMs. In addition, CSOs have continued to advocate for sheltering unprotected UMs, calling on public authorities to take action.