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Children in migration must be informed about their rights

Council of Europe Strasbourg 18 December 2018
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Children in migration must be informed about their rights

Children in migration have the right to be informed about their rights. Such information is crucial for having their voice heard and enabling them to participate in procedures affecting them. These children, despite being one of the most vulnerable groups in Europe today, face barriers in access to information that is child-friendly and age-appropriate.

In response to these challenges, on the occasion of the International Migrants Day marked today, the Council of Europe, has launched the Handbook for frontline professional on how to convey child-friendly information to children in migration.

The Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees Tomáš Boček said: “The protection of refugee and migrant children is a one of the priorities among the activities of the Council of Europe. Developed in the framework of the Action Plan on protecting refugee and migrant children, the handbook on child-friendly information is crucial for keeping children safe and able to access their rights. This handbook also addresses one of the main challenges countries are facing today,” said.

The handbook includes examples of promising practices implemented around Europe, practical tips to highlight ways to implement this guidance in practice, specific situations or risk factors that would increase a child’s vulnerability or increase the barriers in access to rights; questions children may have at different stages of their journey; children’s recommendations; “golden rules” for each context.

Quotes from children, too, make part of the book. “ In class, there are some who are a little embarrassed, others who are shy and others who are ashamed of not knowing. They feel stuck, blocked. Everyone has his story. There are some who are there, they are in class but in their head they are elsewhere. They think of their past. Sometimes people are scared, their situation is very complicated, it’s not easy,” – says 15-year-old Hafidjou.

The book is launched under the Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021).

  • Interview with Ellen Van Vooren, Researcher and Policy Adviser, Children’s Rights Knowledge Centre (KeKi), one of the authors of the report

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