10 action points to ensure children’s rights in the EU’s migration policy

Terre des Hommes, together with other 58 leading organisations in the fields of human rights, child rights, health and social inclusion sent an open letter to the European Council to express concerns over the lack of attention afforded to children’s rights in the policy discussions and developments and to urge the EU and its Member States to implement ten actions to ensure protection to all children affected by migration. No form of discrimination is acceptable or justifiable, whether taken by public authorities or private actors. All children, no matter migration status, origin and religion, hold the right to be protected.

A significant numbers of children from third countries migrate to Europe, for a variety of reasons, travelling with their families, alone or separated from their family. Between January and August 2015, 174,235 children sought asylum in the European Union, representing one in four asylum seekers. From January to September 2015 10,000 unaccompanied minors arrived to Italy by sea. Children continue to undertake dangerous journeys and to die while trying to reach Europe….

Over the past months, several European Council meetings have been convened to discuss and develop immediate responses and policies to address the migration and refugee crisis and to protect and save life of migrants.

Yet, the current package of policies reinforces a very differentiated treatment of children. While essential avenues for protection are foreseen for some children, the increasing focus on detention and deportation, further investment in border control, and significantly reducing the number of people that can arrive to the EU’s borders through cooperation with third countries raises serious child rights concerns.

We urge Heads of Government and Ministers to develop and implement concrete measures towards a strategy ensuring effective protection for all children affected by migration, including in the upcoming meetings at European level, in particular  at the Valletta Summit on 11-12 November and the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 3-4 December and through its Council Conclusions.

Joint open letter to the European Council

Read also the CONCORD Position towards La Valetta EU-Africa Migration Summit (11-12 November 2015)

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