Don't miss




Nature under threat: Arresting pictures from Wildlife Photography Awards

Read more


Protecting heritage land against mining companies

Read more


US tops list of most competitive economies

Read more


South African musician Bongeziwe Mabandla on his 'urban African folk'

Read more


Reshuffle and a televised act of contrition for Macron

Read more


Macron malaise: Can the French president reverse his plummeting popularity?

Read more


Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy on the red carpet in Paris

Read more


The dictator hunter: Reed Brody on bringing despots to justice

Read more


France explores alternatives to prison

Read more


An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2018-02-02

Video: Crossing the Alps with Guinean migrants on a perilous journey

© Rémi Cadoret

Since last summer, more migrants have been trying to cross the frozen plains of the Col de l'Échelle mountain pass in the Alps in a bid to reach France from Italy. In 2016 only a few dozen tried, but last year 1,600 migrants, more than half of them minors, embarked on this icy route. Our reporters followed their treacherous journey.

At Turin station in northern Italy, migrants board trains headed for the Bardonecchia ski resort, some 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the French border. We meet two Guineans trying to cross the Alps and follow them on the first stage of their perilous journey.

It is early January and a metre of snow has fallen in just 24 hours. Hampered by the extreme weather conditions, the migrants are forced to wait. As soon as the weather permits, they must cross the Italian-French border on foot and take on the Col l'Échelle mountain pass in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,762 metres. It’s a horrific day and night journey facing icy wind, snow and cold.

After the Alps, fear of police

On the French side, Bruno Jonnard, a local ski patroller, brings supplies to the only mountain shelter on the route. In his bag are warm clothes and food to allow the migrants to warm up and regain some strength.

Volunteers from the NGO All Migrants, meanwhile, go off to collect the exhausted and freezing migrants who have just crossed the mountain pass from Italy. They can often be spotted on the roadside, freezing cold and panicking at the thought of being caught by the police. During our reporting, four migrants were picked up by the volunteers. They were then transported to a reception centre in the town of Briançon to receive first aid.

Lastly, we head out to meet local French families who welcome young underage migrants into their homes. They give them a little comfort and help them with administrative procedures so that they can pursue their dream of a better life.



2018-10-12 Reporters

Reporters: No way home for the Rohingya

Since August 2017, nearly a million Rohingya Muslims have fled a brutal crackdown by the Burmese army. Today, they live in the world’s largest refugee camp in neighbouring...

Read more

2018-10-05 Reporters

Reporters: Living in fear of the militias in Rio

In Rio de Janeiro, dozens of neighbourhoods and favelas are under the control of militias. All of them use terror to control locals and businesses, and resisting them can be...

Read more

2018-02-09 Reporters

Reporters: The ‘missing’ that China keeps silent

Chinese authorities go to great lengths to control society, with forced disappearances becoming the norm. Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, political opponents...

Read more

2018-09-28 Reporters

Reporters: Kailash Satyarthi is on a mission to end child slavery in India

A child disappears every eight minutes in India. In the capital New Delhi, six out of 10 children who go missing are never found. They are called the "lost generation": More than...

Read more

2018-09-21 Reporters

Colombia: Cursed by coca in Catatumbo

While the United Nations on Wednesday announced that Colombia remains the world’s largest cocaine producer, our reporters visited the northeastern region of Catatumbo - one of...

Read more