Sunday

24th Sep 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Asylum seekers create EU 'limbo' nation

The number of asylum seekers "in limbo" in the EU is likely to be greater than the combined populations of Cyprus and Malta, estimates indicate.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel wins fourth term, exit polls say
  2. EU to hail 'aspirations' of former Soviet states
  3. UK says credit downgrade was wrong
  4. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  5. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  6. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  7. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  8. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel