ENOC report: ‘Safety and Fundamental Rights at Stake for Children on the Move’

Date: 2nd February 2016
Category: Refugee , migrant and asylum-seeking children

ENOC has launched a new report outlining the current safety risks for children on the move in Europe and the degree to which they have access to their rights while travelling to and through Europe and upon arrival in their country of destination. The report calls for an EU action plan for all migrant children and a child rights perspective in humanitarian aid.

Children on the move face many safety risks and concerns which become even more severe when Europe's response to handling the influx of migrants does not take a child rights perspective, highlights the new ENOC report.

The report states the massive increase of children applying for asylum in EU member states (from 144,550 in 2014 to 337,000 in 2015) which has been most significant since June 2015. According to UNHCR, in June 2015 16% of all migrants crossing the Mediterranean were children, while by December the number of children arriving by this route was 35% of the total.

To ensure children on the move and the risks they face are put on the European agenda and that specific actions targeting these children are taken to ensure their rights are respected, the ENOC report urgently calls on the European Commission to develop a comprehensive EU action plan for all migrant children.

The report also calls on the EU and its member states to ensuring the following:

  1. Prioritize children in the EU relocation scheme
  2. Make better use of legal opportunities to enter the EU
  3. A child rights perspective in humanitarian aid
  4. Set minimum standards for reception and transit centres
  5. Comprehensive data collection

Refugee children are in need of specific protection measures, something all European countries have agreed to by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).