With a order issued on January 22, 2018, the Nice Administrative Court declared for the first time that the practice of immediately sending back unaccompanied migrant minors at the border with Italy is lllegal. The decision sanctioned French authorities for "a serious violation of the higher interests of the minors," governed by human rights conventions and international laws.
According to the immigration section of the Italian Interior Ministry's website, on January 12 a 12-year-old Eritrean boy was arrested by French security forces immediately after he arrived at the station in Mentone-Garavan, just across the border from the Italian city of Ventimiglia. A procedure was immediately started in which to send the boy back, through a "refus d'entrée". The French association Anafé, which provides assistance to foreigners at the borders, filed a lawsuit against the measure together with the boy's lawyer in the Nice Administrative Court. The suit called for the annulment of the measure through a "procédure de référé", an urgent application available under French administrative law.