A new expert report published today outlines the main challenges facing migrant children in Europe.
The ‘Thematic Report on migrant and refugee children,’ from Tomáš Boček, the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees (SRSG), is based on his experience gained during fact-finding missions in 2016.
Boček calls for urgent measures to find alternatives to detention of children and guarantee minimum living conditions in camps, such as gender-separate sanitary facilities, better lighting and child-friendly spaces in order to eliminate risks of sexual abuse.
He also identifies a real need to protect unaccompanied children and prevent disappearances. Other areas of concern include the lack of appropriate age-assessment measures, effective guardianship system for children and access to information and education.
In the report, the SRSG calls for specialised linguistic support to refugee and migrant children to enhance their integration.
This report is the first step in a renewed focus in the Council of Europe’s activities on refugees’ and migrants’ access to rights. It will be followed by the organisation’s Action Plan for the protection of migrant and refugee children, especially unaccompanied children, which is scheduled for adoption in May 2017.