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Teenage Migrants Sexually Molested In Italy

A 16-year-old boy tells Sky News he was given beer and then sexually molested by an Italian man weeks after arriving in Sicily. By Mark Stone, Europe Correspondent in Sicily, Italy Teenage African migrants arriving in Europe

Teenage African migrants arriving in Europe have told Sky News that they are being sexually molested by Italian men and being extorted by smugglers.

In a park outside the train station in the Sicilian town of Catania, we met 16-year old Ermias Haile. He is from Eritrea and arrived in Sicily a few weeks ago.

Ermias was one of the more than 70,000 migrants and refugees rescued this year from small boats attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Europe.

He explained that after just a week in an Italian government-run migrant camp, he and his friends walked out, convinced there was no hope of a future inside.

:: Fleeing Eritreans Unaware Of Perilous Journey Across Mediterranean

But leaving the camp has put them at greater risk of extortion from smugglers who claim to be helping them to travel north, as well as sexual abuse from Italian men.

Ermias says: “He [the Italian man] find us in a place like this and he invite us to a bar and he let us drink beer and then he take us to his home and there he give us beer. We start drinking and then he start touching us on our body. After we leave the house, he calls us and he gives us money.”

Eritrean migrant Ermias Haile is living on the streets of Sicily

“It must be very frightening,” I say. “Yes,” Ermias replies. The charity Save the Children has documented many similar stories.

Abdul Fateh, an Eritrean who has successfully claimed asylum, now helps the new arrivals avoid the smugglers and to be safe.

“All of them are minors unfortunately at this time,” the 34-year-old says.

“Thousands of people everyday, they are rescued [from the sea], they saved their lives and this is a very great job. But now thousands drown in the streets of Italy today and no one here is ready to rescue them and this is a very sad reality,” he says.

We first met Ermias the previous evening at a building site near the port where they sleep rough, with scores of others on cardboard boxes.

From behind a fence a rock is lobbed towards us.

The smugglers are Eritrean too and live among the people they are extorting. They are migrants who have taken a different direction from that which Abdul Fateh chose.

Abdul Fateh (in yellow) speaks to a group of migrants

From his pocket, Ermias produced a scrap of paper with phone numbers on it. He gave it to Abdul Fateh and claimed that it was his uncle in Rome. Abdul Fateh called the number.

It was not the teenager’s uncle, but a smuggler who was not far away, in the same town as us.

The next day, convinced he knew the smuggler’s identity, Abdul Fateh confronted him at a cafe near the station.

“Yesterday I called you and you told me that you were ‘Thomas’,” Abdul Fateh said to the man as we filmed discretely.

“This is your number or not? Now I discover that you are a smuggler here.”

The smuggler shrugged and walked off.

Some 14,400 of those rescued from the Mediterranean since January have been under 18 years old and travelling alone, according to Save the Children.

However, few unaccompanied minors have successfully claimed asylum in Europe despite often being from countries, like Eritrea, which should guarantee them refugee status and asylum.

“It’s shocking that in this day and age, so many vulnerable children are being subjected to this kind of violence, manipulation, and exploitation.” said Tanya Steele, CEO of Save the Children.

“They make the dangerous journey to Europe on their own seeking safety and a better life, but instead find themselves trapped in a cycle of abuse.”

Sky News

Review overview
  • filmon August 20, 2016

    Abdul Fateh also use and sell the poor Eritrean kids to his Arab master all over in Italia for lot of payment.
    He bring old cloths, dirty cigaret, dirt dog foods and then send the difernt boys to difrent dirty moslim Arabs houses.

    • AHMED SALEH !!! August 21, 2016

      unfortunately for some people like commentator with a name Filmon
      the story has been taken lightly to divert needed attention . These
      poor Eritrean kids are victims of our people arrogance in first place
      and your stupid arguments based on religious tendencies at expense
      of their sad situation shows how sick person you could be . For God
      sake it is real incidents Eritrean refugees might expose for dangers
      when they can not find safe place to live . I have nothing to say for
      such soulless and ignorant fellows , Shame on you .

    • AHMED SALEH!!! August 21, 2016

      Forget about his Arab masters . At least as a human being for the sake
      of God look the face of the kid and the whole situation about these underage Eritrean refugees fate . We are discussing about incidents that break our heart . Too bad you call yourself the defender of people who
      share your religion but the truth is the same people take advantage at
      the expense these kids unfortunate status . What a shame !

  • k.tewolde August 20, 2016

    Heard enough!no comment.

  • Berhe Tensea August 20, 2016

    This is really sad, I feel sorry for the boy . Where ever this children go to escape the hell on earth this kinds of sickening things are happening always.
    The solution is to confront the primary cause of the exodus the young and then creating peaceful and hospitable country.
    Death to the Tembenay and his coward and drunkard officials..

  • Ph August 21, 2016

    This is the price! humbly decided journey. To days youth are not aware the consequences.but Do they need help? Of course! In which way? how? The answer is at hand simply by kicking out hgdef regime. enough to hear shocking story from one to another. besides, is the writer awear the privacy of a child? I don’t think so

  • MENKAE August 21, 2016

    being Ethiopian it is a sad day for me to see a real picture and real name of this poor child all over the web cites. What about the privacy ? He is a child . He is Eritrean. and He is not HEGDEF – MENDEF. Especially Asena why ?

  • Geremew August 22, 2016

    Here is the solution
    1. identify the root cause/s of the problem : You find that by asking why’s?
    Why are children < 18 leaving home in the first place? Because family units are being destroyed. in Eritrea. Why? Because the head of the family ( in Eritrea) is usually the man and the man is in indefinite slavery, or in prison for any stupid reason or in exile. The woman(mother) is too poor to properly attend the children . The children knew their future fate is like their father if they don't leave their home and settle in a safe place. They dont see hope in education or any reward for working hard. in their own country.
    2. Addressing the root causes of the problem. Ask how questions
    How can the family unit (the most important unit of community) be preserved.? Stop slavery. Let the peasant attend his farm, and the merchant trade freely. "Hires harestay niged negaday"

    It is this simple. Dont channel your anger on Assena who is just telling you the truth how bitter it may be. Blame the monster Isayas and cronies for creating a havoc in Eritrea.. Stop Slavery!! case closed.

  • nahom August 23, 2016

    meskin Eritrean teenage gay and surely that muslim Abdula is his fulltime lover, we were shoked to see and learn so many gay moslims men from Eritrea hunting and deceving teenage Eritrean boys in Sudan. He will never recover.

    • AHMED SALEH !!! August 24, 2016

      Have it ever get into your attention if the subject you are preferring read
      the comments .

  • MENKAE August 25, 2016

    This poor child was stabbed in the heart three times first at home by the monster { GELAY YEKALO} second by the child molester and for the third time by those CHEGUARAT DANGA they don’t have any clue about children’s right . .

  • Nsane August 27, 2016

    Please Assenna; Amanuel don’t post pictures of victims. I don’t know how his friends treat him when some bad event exchange. With the story of this victim my heart is heavy .