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German filmmaker begins 1,400 km walk from Paris to Berlin for refugee children

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By Alice Cuddy
German filmmaker begins 1,400 km walk from Paris to Berlin for refugee children

A German filmmaker has set off on a 1,400-kilometre walk from Paris to Berlin, in an effort to rally support to call on EU lawmakers to give homes to unaccompanied children at European refugee camps.

Grig Richters began the “million step” walk at the Arc de Triomphe on Saturday morning, and is set to make more than two dozen stops before reaching his final destination at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on December 1.

The filmmaker said he planned the march to show solidarity with refugees in Europe, and particularly unaccompanied children in camps such as Moria in Greece.

“We need to show the world that we care about one another, and that we do not tolerate hate and what better way to show this than to march in peace between two of Europe’s historical capitals?” he said.

Richters has called on people to march with him and sign a petition, which he plans to submit to the EU, calling for unaccompanied children in European camps to be rehomed.

“I am already in touch with dozens of foster families who would give these children a home but the legal framework won’t let them. If we all stand together and raise awareness about their situations then we can make a real change,” the petition says.

Speaking to Euronews while en-route to the French commune of Creil, the activist said he had collected around 100 physical signatures in the first six hours of his journey.

Richters is trying to raise up to €1,500 for his food and accommodation for the trip, and extra money as an emergency fund for refugee children.

He said he hoped the march would encourage others to “raise their voices too, in a peaceful way”.