• Unaccompanied migrant children are some of the most vulnerable in Europe, subject to detention and brutality, unable to access their rights to education, health care, or to seek asylum, and left without adequate legal protections in domestic legal systems throughout the continent.1 One might think that in Western Europe, where child mortality is close to zero, and social services and institutions well developed, children’s rights would be more secure. Not, however, when the children in question are unaccompanied migrants.

    All too often the thousands of unaccompanied children arriving without parents or caregivers find themselves trapped in their status as migrants, with European governments giving little consideration to their vulnerabilities and needs as children. Many end up without the humane treatment Europe claims to stand for. Instead they may face exploitation, prolonged detention, intimidation and abusive police behavior, registration and treatment as adults after unreliable age exams, bureaucratic obstacles to accessing education, and abuse when detained or housed in institutions.

    Read the publication, "Caught in a Net: Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Europe" through the link below.

    Caught in a Net - Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Europe


  • US Border Screening and Returns of Central Americans to Risk of Serious Harm
  • Detention, Abuse, and Neglect of Migrant Children in Indonesia
  • Summary Returns of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adult Asylum Seekers from Italy to Greece

Refugees and Migrants

  • May 15, 2015
    It's the time of year when politicians line up to praise mothers. Last year, President Barack Obama even issued a lighthearted public service announcement reminding his audience not to forget the holiday. But this year, thanks to some of those same politicians, more than a thousand migrant mothers and children in the United States will spend Mother’s Day behind bars.
  • May 11, 2015
  • May 7, 2015
    Abdikarim” was 14 in 2010, writes Jo Becker, when fighters from the armed Islamist group al-Shabaab took him from his school in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. They sent him into military training and then forced him to fight on the front lines. There, he said, he witnessed his classmates being killed: “All the young children were taken to the first row of the fighting. I was there. The children all died and the bigger soldiers ran away.”
  • Mar 27, 2015
    The White House has been trying to stem the flow of unaccompanied children into the U.S. from Mexico. Steve Inskeep talks to Human Rights Watch's Bill Felick and the State Department's Simon Henshaw.
  • Nov 21, 2014
    When Abid was five, immigration officials arrested him and his family, Pakistani refugees fleeing religious persecution. The officials took them to the squalid immigration detention centre in central Bangkok. There, they joined hundreds of other refugees detained indefinitely, awaiting some distant possibility of release.
  • Nov 18, 2014
    On Nov. 20 25 years ago, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but we still aren’t doing enough to protect the youngest among us.
  • Nov 17, 2014

    The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations on November 20, 1989, establishing global standards to ensure the protection, survival, and development of all children, without discrimination. Countries that ratify the treaty pledge to protect children from economic and sexual exploitation, violence, and other forms of abuse and to advance the rights of children to education, health care, and a decent standard of living. The convention also addresses children’s rights to a name and nationality, to be heard, to be fairly treated when accused of offenses, when deprived of parental care, and other rights.

  • Oct 18, 2014
    Refugees from the Western Sahara conflict who have been living in camps in the Algerian desert for four decades seem to be generally able to leave the camps if they wish, but face curbs on some rights. The camps are run by the Polisario Front, which seeks self-determination for Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that Morocco has occupied since 1975.
  • Sep 9, 2014
    Yazidi refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan now sleep in classrooms, hallways, and the courtyards of facilities intended for children’s education. What happens when school starts?
  • Sep 2, 2014
    The American public became aware of tens of thousands of Central American children at the US-Mexico border after photos of kids jammed into overcrowded detention centers went viral. With fits and starts, the US has made some headway in moving most of these children into foster care and other appropriate accommodations while the courts sort out whether they should be allowed to stay or be sent home.