A child is first, foremost and only a child. He or she is
entitled to all the rights of a child, guaranteed by the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other international
human rights instruments.
When looking at undocumented migrant children and their rights,
one should first look at the issue from the child’s perspective
and not the migration status perspective.
The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population is particularly
concerned by the lack of domestic legislation and guidance at national
level on the rights of these children. It is also concerned by the
diversity of approaches across Europe, both in terms of legislation
and practice. Certain rights are more clearly protected than others,
such as the right to education, the right to health care, and the
need to refrain from detaining children whenever possible. Other
rights pose more problems, such as ensuring adequate housing, and
how to tackle more effectively certain forms of child exploitation,
such as begging.
The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population has highlighted
many of the barriers that exist preventing undocumented migrant
children from enjoying their rights without discrimination, and
proposes recommendations to member states and to the Committee of
Ministers on steps that need to be taken to improve legislation