Who are we?
Hors La Rue, literally Out of the Street, is a non-profit organization under French law. Since 1996, we take part in the protection of foreign children in danger in the Paris area. Our mission is to identify and provide support to children facing a life in the street. We also advocate for the commitment to protecting their rights among institutional, non-profit and policy actors. Our team is composed of experienced and well-trained social work professionals helping migrant children to get to a secure environment.
HLR addresses various cases concerning migrant children.
They are wanderers and don’t attend school. Therefore they are at-risk. Some of them, mainly originated from extra-European countries, are unaccompanied and come to our association seeking protection because they don’t have any other relations.
Others are from Eastern European countries, such as Bulgaria and Romania; they might be accompanied by adults and surrounded by their family, yet they find themselves in very precarious and dangerous situations, most of the time living in settlements in the suburban areas of Paris.
Their fragile living conditions expose them regularly to human rights violations. They are characterized also by their distrust towards institutions and can hardly be reached by child protection services. In some cases, we witness aggravated situations of human trafficking and child labor such as forced activities of prostitution, begging and theft.
Context of intervention
In the recent years we have noted a steep deterioration of unaccompanied migrant children’s situation.
Extra-European migrant children are the object of policies related to migration control rather than to child protection; in this regard, they are considered to be foreigners before being considered as minors.
Concerning Eastern European minors, often living in settlements with their families, one cannot disregard the current climate of intense discrimination against their communities. This climate complicates the access for children to schooling, health, accommodation and decent life conditions, the latter enabling them to build a healthy and consistent life project.
Goals and action
Hors la Rue aims at providing support, by all appropriate means, to foreign at-risk children. We seek to ensure them an adequate access to their rights. We assist them to get an administrative protection, to work out formal demands, and to build a life-project. For this purpose we have implemented two main means of action: our field work and our day care center. Field work includes locating and reaching at-risk children through their work and living places. They can further join our day care center which provides diverse facilities and activities: preparing lunch and breakfast, taking a shower, attending a French language course, sports and cultural workshops, etc. We also advocate for an effective framework for the protection of unaccompanied, at-risk minors, and for their rights’ enforcement, to public institutions, such as the State and local authorities.
Hors la Rue is attached to its local action, keeping it close and adapted to arising needs and difficulties. Nevertheless, we are aware that some problems, as migrants' rights, human-trafficking and other rights' violations, demand the involvement of European and International level actors, as well as other local actors.
Hors La Rue’s combined approach, including field-work, day care center management, and advocacy activities, is indisputably added value in the region of Paris. Our team is strongly motivated, experienced and close to field-related issues. In this regard, our association is able to address various and complex individual situations, to monitor them and to provide adequate support to foreign at-risk children.
The fieldwork activity we accomplish also constitutes the basis to the “Versini device”, which aims to protect foreign at-risk minors in functioning as a bridge between the street and the institutions. We share our experience in this domain, and collaborate with judiciary institutions, local powers, and other organizations who work in the fields of migration and child protection, and our action is widely recognized as trustworthy among them. This cooperation is reciprocal and allows us to benefit from these actors’ knowledge.