The undersigned organisations call on Mr Avramopoulos to personally commit, in his role as EU Commissioner, to take measures to realise the rights of every child affected by migration, regardless of their or their parents’ migration status, and to address all violations of their rights, as a priority within his mandate.
The organisations highlight the need to expand existing EU frameworks protecting specific groups of migrant children to ensure that all children affected by migration, including those who are accompanied by their parents or other caregivers, have their rights upheld in policy and practice.
The legislative and political developments in recent years promoting child rights across all EU action, and specifically in protecting specific groups of migrant children in specific circumstances, are positive. However, the current status-based protection framework remains fragmented and uneven, and many migrant children in vulnerable situations are falling through the gaps, particularly when they are undocumented. This is also recognised in the European Parliament resolution adopted in November 2014 to mark the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The organisations also urge the EU Commissioner to take targeted actions to end the immigration detention of children and family separation through detention across the EU.
As the EU Commission reported earlier this year in its Communication on EU return policy , approximately one-third of member states report that they do not detain children and several are implementing or developing alternatives to detention that respect child rights, including their right to family unity. Building on these developments, and two major global civil society campaigns, ending the immigration detention of children and family separation through detention in the EU should be a concrete goal.
The letter to EU Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, follows a joint letter to the European Council addressing related recommendations, dated 22 May 2014
To read the full letter, click HERE.
Signatories to the letter:
- Dominique Guibert, Chairman, European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH)
- Rebecca O’Donnell, Secretary General, Child Circle
- Agnes Uhereczky, Director, COFACE
- Katrín Fjeldsted, President, Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)
- Veronica Yates, Director, Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)
- Benoit Van Keirsbilck, International President, Defence for Children International (DCI)
- Edwin de Boevé, Director, Dynamo International – Street Workers Network
- Barbara Helfferich, Director, European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)
- Reinhold Müller, Director, European Federation for Street Children (EFSC)
- Michaël Privot, Director, European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
- Leeanne Torpey, Global Coordinator, Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children
- Tam Baillie, Chair, European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC)
- Anna Zobnina, Chair, European Network of Migrant Women
- Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General, Eurochild
- Heather Roy, Secretary General, Eurodiaconia
- Freek Spinnewijn, Director, FEANTSA
- Grant Mitchell, Director, International Detention Coalition (IDC)
- Cristina Martins, President International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)–Europe
- Cristina Goñi, Secretary General, International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO)
- Vicky Claeys, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) European Network
- Delphine Moralis, Secretary General, Missing Children Europe
- Michele LeVoy, Director, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
- Ester Asin, Director and EU Representative, Save the Children EU Office
- Kélig Puyet, EU Representative and Head of the EU Office, SOS Children’s Villages International
- Ignacio Packer, Secretary General, Terre des Hommes International Federation
- Marius Wanders, EU Representative and Executive Director, World Vision – Brussels and EU Representation