In 2002, when she was four years old, Congolese national Tabitha Mitunga was travelling with her uncle to Canada, where her mother had obtained asylum. During her journey, Tabitha was detained at Brussels airport because she did not have the right papers to enter Belgium.
Tabitha was held by the Belgian authorities for almost two months. She had been taken away from her uncle and had no family or friends with her. She was kept in the same place as adults, with nobody assigned to look after her.
Tabitha was eventually deported to the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, her mother was not informed in advance, so there was nobody waiting for Tabitha when she arrived back in her home country.