Thursday

15th Nov 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. Second UK cabinet minister resigns over Brexit deal
  2. UK Brexit secretary quits morning after deal agreed
  3. Romanian MPs call for national 'Magnitsky Act'
  4. Tusk: Brexit summit on Sunday 25 November
  5. Full text of Brexit withdrawal agreement published
  6. Greece to investigate former PM's bank accounts
  7. EU threatens to retaliate if US introduces auto tariffs
  8. Frontex: Spain now main destination for migrants

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  2. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  3. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  4. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM put Orban on spot
  5. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability
  6. Knives out on all sides for draft Brexit deal
  7. Romania data chief defends forcing press to reveal sources
  8. EU to review animal welfare strategy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us