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Aid groups have reported a surge in the numbers of unaccompanied refugee children living in tents in Calais with no support from the French state. In interviews with the Guardian, children travelling alone from Syria and Eritrea spoke of repeated incidents of harsh treatment meted out by French police.

Several described homesickness and a desire to return to the war-torn countries from which they had fled. Others said they had been hit by the police, sprayed with teargas and chased by dogs as they tried to walk towards the entrance to the Channel tunnel to attempt to claim asylum in the UK. –  in Calais for the Guardian – read more here

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Ala, 15, from Daraa, Syria. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
Firas, 15, from Syria, at the refugee camp in Calais. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
Firas, 15, from Syria, at the refugee camp in Calais. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

“I worry about the younger boys,” he said. “You see the situation. We have nothing.” His friend Ahamed, 15, said he was homesick and wished he could make contact with his family. Like most of the Eritrean teenagers, he has no mobile phone.

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