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Unaccompanied refugee children in Europe prone to sex abuse

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Prague, April 22: The Council of Europe (CoE) warned on Friday of the serious risks that unaccompanied refugee children were increasingly facing when they arrive to Europe fleeing conflict.

The CoE’s Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland expressed his deep concern at a press conference in Prague that many unaccompanied children were falling prey to child abuse and sexual exploitation by criminal networks, Efe news agency reported.

Many arrivals were completely on their own and in many cases unable to rejoin their families, even if they also happened to be in Europe.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that last Winter some 25,000 unaccompanied refugee children were trapped just in Greece and the Balkans.

Jagland explained that these children were completely out of any control of state authorities and it was obvious the human traffickers were making off with them.

He underscored that this unaccompanied child migration phenomenon was a “growing problem than required being addressed by national authorities, but also at European level.”

The CoE secretary general regretted that the EU lacked a unified response to face the massive refugee influx, after the Brussels failure to assign asylum seeking national quotas among all member countries.

“We are very worried that there is no unified position on the European side. Some countries like Greece or Italy have been left to deal with the problem and that is why we have the growing problem of unaccompanied (refugee) children,” said Jagland.

IANS 

 

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Belgian court ends extradition case against Catalan leader Puigdemont

The judge had declared the case to be “without merit” during an in-camera hearing.

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Carles Puigdemont

A Belgian court formally closed extradition proceedings against deposed Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont on Thursday.

Puigdemont and four of his deputies fled to Belgium in October to avoid charges of rebellion, sedition and misusing public money in relation to Catalonia’s independence bid. The Spanish Supreme Court withdrew the European arrest warrants last week.

The judge had declared the case to be “without merit” during an in-camera hearing, Paul Bekaert, Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer, told AFP.

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Terror plot to assassinate British PM foiled: Report

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Theresa May

London, Dec 6 : British intelligence have reportedly foiled a plot by Islamic extremists to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May, a media report said.

The disrupted plot against May included an explosive device that terrorists planned to detonate in front of May’s residence on 10 Downing Street, a Sky News report said.

“It is in essence an extreme Islamist suicide plot against Downing Street,” it said.

“Essentially police believe that the plan was to launch some sort of improvised explosive device at Downing Street and in the ensuing chaos attack and kill Theresa May, the Prime Minister,” the news report said.

The plot was just one in a number of planned attacks in 2017 that cops and British security services have been able to prevent, Sky said.

It was not clear on Tuesday night what stage the plot was in or if any suspects have been arrested.

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EU’s Mogherini meets with Tillerson, calls on US to stick with Iran nuclear deal

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File:Rex Tillerson Federica Mogherini 2017-02-09 03

The EU’s top diplomat says Washington’s decision to step away from a landmark nuclear deal would be counterproductive, and insisted that other disputes with Tehran should be tackled in other ways.

Federica Mogherini, who met with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Brussels on Tuesday, said that the EU attaches great importance to upholding the agreement. Scrapping the deal “would not put us in a better position to discuss all the rest, on the contrary,” Mogherini added.

Tillerson said that “Iran is carrying out a number of other destabilizing activities throughout the region” and called for joint action to counter it, AP reports.

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