A 15-year-old Egyptian boy went to the police in Pisa, Tuscany, to ask for help and food, after landing in the southern island of Sicily and travelling across Italy on his own. Police say that the story of the Egyptian teen is not an isolated case and that unaccompanied minors often remain without assistance.
A 15-year-old boy travelled from Egypt to the Tuscan city of Pisa by himself. On Monday afternoon (July 11), he went to the city's central police station to ask for help. He told the officers that he had travelled all the way from Sicily, where he landed with other migrants on the island's coast. The undocumented teen did not speak either Italian or French.
A policewoman who is fluent in Arabic helped with the translation. He told her that he had landed in Catania from Egypt. He said that he had travelled alone and reached the Tuscan city by train. No further details were provided.
The teen, who has no relatives or acquaintances in Italy, was given something to eat and drink, registered and taken to the hospital in Cisanello for a medical checkup, police sources said.
He has now been placed under the care of a hosting facility for minors managed by an NGOs near Pisa. The facility had a few free spots and provided the accommodation so the teen could be spared yet another trip to a different city, province or region.
Not an isolated story
Police officials in Pisa said that of the 15-year-old Egyptian's case is not isolated and that the problem of unaccompanied minors who reach Italy with nobody to help is well-known.
Over the past month, four young migrants asked for help at the central police station of Pisa alone, police sources said. They were all minors who had reached Italy without family members or acquaintances.
In addition to the Egyptian teen, the other minors included one Tunisian and two Pakistanis. They found a safe place to stay in the facilities now hosting them, police said, where they can study and become acquainted with a country they didn't know before until they turn 18.