Europe: a refuge for children?

Date: 15th September 2015
Category: Refugee , migrant and asylum-seeking children

Eurochild called for solidarity and leadership ahead of EU meeting of ministers on Monday 14 September, and to adopt a shared response to the refugee crisis based on the European values of solidarity and human rights.

Eurochild highlighted that EU governments cannot afford to waste more time and threaten more lives. Instead, they should offer swift humanitarian assistance to those at Europe's borders and safe routes for all seeking refuge.

Children, whether separated or with their families, deserve priority attention. Over 100,000 children have fled from conflict and persecution in the first half of 2015, according to UNICEF. Every person under 18 years arriving in Europe must be considered first and foremost a child, with equal rights, regardless of origin, race, religion, ability, migration status. These rights include access to healthcare, education, play, care and support, protection from violence and abuse.

People across Europe, including those who have taken difficult journeys to escape conflict and persecution, are looking to the EU for leadership. The humane treatment of refugees is an expression of the fundamental values on which the European Union is built. Eurochild highlighted that as civil society promoting the rights and well-being of children, we expect our leaders to rise to the occasion.