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ManciniK_Terre_des_Hommes_DU campaign

August 18, 2016 – Members of ADEM[1] wish to express their concern about the migrant situation in the region of Chiasso (Switzerland) and Como (Italy), in particular the one of unaccompanied minors, a particularly vulnerable group. Sending back these minors to Italy without prior assessment of their needs by Swiss authorities violates its obligations under the OHCHR[2].

The present situation shows that these children are often considered as migrants thereby unable to make use of their rights and benefit from special protection measures they are entitled to as minors. This treatment goes against fundamental principles and all conventions on the subject.

ADEM deplores among others the prevailing confusion, the risk of arbitrary decisions, the lack of reception facilities and means, the shortage of trained personnel capable of safeguarding the interest of these children, or the absence of transnational coordination between actors in charge of these children. Inadequate support to these children may increase their vulnerability, the risk of being exploited and encourage them to seek more dangerous routes to reach their destination.

ADEM wishes to remind some basic principles [3] which should apply when taking care of children on the move in line with the OHCHR signed by Switzerland and Italy, hence applicable to both countries:

–          Children on the move must be considered as children first and foremost. Any action concerning them, including measures undertaken by authorities, need to be based on the best interest.

–          Child protection systems need to protect all children without discrimination, including children on the move. States have the obligation to guaranty a constant protection in areas children go through.

–          Migration management measures should not breach  fundamental rights of children. States have the obligation to guaranty the exact identification of children, to assess the impact of their legislation and policy on children on the move or affected by migration and avoid negative repercussion.

Both countries are required:

a)      To appoint a tutor to every unaccompanied child –as soon as he has been identified –which has the duty to look upon its best interest before any decision on his subsequent transfer is taken

b)      To apply the Dublin III regulation in order to facilitate family reunification for minors with families in Europe as soon as possible. When necessary to organize an accompanied transfer  to ensure minors join their family as soon as possible.  For all other minors, their case should be carefully examined in order to find a durable solution in Switzerland, in their country of origin or in a third country taking into account their best interest.

For further information contact:

For ISS: Ms. Elodie Antony, project officer (022 731 67 00; ssi-ea@ssiss.ch)

For Terre des Hommes: Mrs. Fouzia Rossier, Head of Advocacy (079 321 72 57; fouzia.rossier@tdh.ch

For IDE: Ms. Aline Sermet, desk officer (027 205 73 03; aline.sermet@childrights.org)

For OSAR: Constantin Hruschka, Head of Protection (031 370 75 38; constantin.hruschka@fluechtingshilfe.ch)


[1] Alliance suisse pour la défense des droits des enfants migrants Swiss coalition for the defense of the migrant children’s rights
[2] Convention on the Rights of the Child – OHCHR

[3] http://principlesforcom.jimdo.com/

Source: this PR was published on : http://www.enfants-migrants.ch/fr/communique_de_l_adem_18082016

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