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09-12-21

Leading human rights groups call for renewed commitment to solidarity and action to protect children in migration at EU borders

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The EU has been facing increased migration flows at the external borders for several years. The pressure at the EU borders is high, as at the recent situation at the Polish- Belarusian border and the tragic loss of the lives in the English Channel have demonstrated.

The humanitarian needs at the EU borders are escalating rapidly with the onset of winter. As member states meet at the Justice and Home Affairs Council today, we join 20+ NGOs urging the EU to improve migration management, ease tensions at various borders and protect children on the move in need of urgent support.

Together with other human rights NGO’s, we urge EU institutions and Member States to bring responsibility sharing back to the forefront of the political agenda. This will significantly contribute to:

  • Reducing the number of children stuck at border areas, in overcrowded containment camps or living on the street, often lacking sufficient food, accommodation, legal assistance and education as well as medical and psychosocial support.
  • Reducing the number of children who remain unidentified or go ‘under the radar’ as they attempt to reach other EU countries irregularly to join family members or seek adequate protection.
  • Strengthening legal pathways and transnational case management while removing systemic deficiencies in Dublin family reunion procedures, which leave unaccompanied children in legal limbo, exposed to multiple risks including trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
  • Strengthening trust and cooperation between Member States by alleviating the pressure and mitigating political tensions at EU borders, which put the lives and safety of children and families at risk.

Read our joint position paper