Sunday

19th Aug 2018

EU must do more to protect child migrants, NGOs say

The EU and member states aren't doing enough to safeguard the interests of child migrants, 78 human rights groups have said.

The activists, meeting in Brussels for the European Forum on the Rights of the Child on 29 and 30 November, said in a joint statement that children have their rights breached constantly.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The campaigners pointed out that one in four asylum seekers in the EU is a minor, and more than 700 children are estimated to have drowned when trying to reach Europe this year alone. Last week a six-year-old died in a fire at the EU so-called hotspot camp in Moria, Greece.

Lengthy bureaucratic processes keep children out of school for months, the NGOs said. Many wait for more than a year before being reunited with family members in another country.

They said children are regularly locked up to prevent them from going missing. But thousands have nonetheless disappeared during their asylum process.

"Many of these children will one day become EU citizens. We need to invest in them and encourage them to become active participants in our societies. The EU and member states can do a lot more," the organisations, which include UNHCR, UNICEF and Save the Children, said.

The groups are urging states to adopt an EU action plan strengthening safeguards for children in the asylum legislation, and set aside more money for national child protection schemes and new mechanisms to protect children across borders.

EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos was clear that child protection needed to be at the heart of EU asylum and migration law.

"Even if we succeed in all areas of our migration policy, if we don't succeed in protecting children, we have not succeeded at all," he said on Tuesday.

News in Brief

  1. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants
  2. Merkel confronts far-right critics: '2015 will not be repeated'
  3. UN: Predictable disembarkation process urgently needed
  4. Slovenia set to select former comedian as prime minister
  5. Polish president to veto election rule helping big parties
  6. MEPs blast UK 'alphabetical approach' on citizens rights
  7. EU hits back over Salvini's blame for bridge collapse
  8. Poll: Sweden's social democrat-led government set to win again

EU ready to shore up Morocco migrant funding

The European Commission says it is ready to boost spending in Morocco when it comes to stop migrant hopefuls from reaching Spain by boat. The money follows demands for help from Madrid as irregular arrival numbers spike in Spain.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  2. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  3. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life
  4. Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs
  5. Building a Europe more resilient to terrorism
  6. Brexit talks resume as chance of 'no deal' put at 50:50
  7. US trial sheds light on murky Cyprus-Russia links
  8. Burned cars fuel Swedish election debate

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us