Last update : October 2019

France has an obligation to protect minors in difficulty, which means offering them good living conditions, education and opportunities to learn a trade. It is possible for minors who choose to stay in France to live in a home or foster family, to go to school or to learn a trade, under the responsibility of the Aide Sociale à l’Enfance.

Information for minors in French, English, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu here :

You are considered to be a foreign unaccompanied minor if you are under 18 years of age and if you have no legal representative (adult legally responsible for you) in France.

If you are a minor, say so clearly and immediately.

France has an obligation to protect unaccompanied minors (or unaccompanied minors) without any condition of nationality or legal residency, until you become an adult (at the age of 18), even if you have not applied for asylum.
You have the right to apply for asylum. However, it is advisable to start by applying for a protection measure from the ASE (Aide Sociale à l’Enfance - Child Welfare Agency - which must take care of accommodation, schooling, etc.).
In order to decide whether they will take care of you, the “Aide Sociale à l’Enfance” of the department where you are, will check by an interview and often by other exams if you are under 18 years old and if you are really unaccompanied in France :

  • You must describe your journey from your country of origin;
  • If you have identity documents, they will be examined.

Where do I go for the assessment interview?
In some departments, you have to go to the departmental council where the ASE is located.
In others, you have to go to the reception and evaluation platform :

in Paris: the platform is called the DEMIE (dispositif d’évaluation des mineurs isolés étrangers - Croix-rouge): 5 rue du Moulin Joly 75011 Paris (metro Couronnes, line 2). It can take several days before the assessment interview can take place. Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 6pm and Wednesday from 11am to 6pm ;

While waiting for the protection decision, the ESA has to take you to safety. Two or three days after the interview, you must go to the place where you were interviewed to get the decision from the ESA.

If the ESA refuses to cover you
You can ask the juvenile court directly to order your care by ESA. This process can take several months. You do not have to wait for the court’s decision before you can apply for asylum.
If you reside in the Paris region, you can get help with your application by going to the ADJIE offices (accompaniment and defence of young isolated foreigners): 49 ter avenue de Flandres 75019 Paris (metro Stalingrad, lines 2, 5 and 7).
For other regions, there is surely an association to help you.
See in the “contacts” section the different contacts according to the regions and cities.
The assessor could also base his assessment on your appearance and behaviour during the sheltering.

Important :
Be careful with your identity papers, if the border police says that they are false documents, you can be prosecuted.
If you do not have identity papers, a judge may ask you to have a medical test (bone test) to check your age. You have the right to accept or refuse this test.
The French administration uses practices contrary to the necessary protection of unaccompanied minors, justifying the refoulement of minors because they have a “beard”, an “adult appearance”. In this case, contact a lawyer who can help you to be protected.
Since 1 March 2019, the administration can also take the person who declares himself to be a minor to the prefecture to have his fingerprints taken and kept on file. The ASE will thus be able to find out if you have already made another application in a department. Your file may be sent back to that department or you may be refused if your application has already been refused elsewhere.

Applying for asylum as an unaccompanied minor
Requesting care from ESA does not preclude you from applying for asylum. The procedure is the same as for an adult. You must be represented by an ad hoc administrator (AAH) to file your application. The AAH is an adult appointed by the courts to help and assist you in your asylum application. The AAH does not necessarily have a good knowledge of asylum: you must ask for help from specialised associations.

You will not be placed in the “Dublin” procedure and transferred to the first country where your fingerprints were recorded.
France must register your asylum application because it must take into account your best interests as a minor and your vulnerability.
On the other hand, you can ask to be reunited with a member of your family who has applied for asylum in another European Union country.
As a minor, you cannot be accommodated in a reception centre for asylum seekers (Cada), nor can you receive the allowance for asylum seekers (ADA). Only ESA can accommodate unaccompanied minors.


Rumour has it that it is important to say that you are over 18 years of age, this is not true! On the contrary, it is important to declare if you are a minor or if you are a victim of the sex trade. Being in a relationship with a man is not automatically an advantage, contrary to what some men say. If you are a minor and you are a woman, it is important to say your real age to be protected.


Whatever your status, you have the right to be accommodated in schools depending on where you are domiciled.

Education is compulsory for all children, French and foreign, from the age of 3 to the age of 16. Education becomes compulsory for all young people between the ages of 16 and 18 in 2020. In practice, there are many denials of access to schooling/training for young people in exile.

You can contact RESF (Education Without Frontiers Network) in your region to help you with schooling: http://www.educationsansfrontieres.org/spip.php?article6084.

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]