• 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

  • Jul 24, 2014
    The public debate over the recent surge in child migrants across the US border with Mexico should spur Congress to reform US immigration policy, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a multimedia feature jointly with Time magazine and Platon/The People’s Portfolio.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    The United States government’s policy of detaining unaccompanied migrant children, some for long periods, and providing inadequate processing puts them in harm’s way. On June 24, 2014, the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on unaccompanied migrant children – children traveling without parents or guardians. Later today, the House Judiciary Committee will also hold a hearing on the issue.

Reports

  • Detention, Abuse, and Neglect of Migrant Children in Indonesia
  • Summary Returns of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adult Asylum Seekers from Italy to Greece
  • Adult and Child Migrants in Malta

Refugees and Migrants

  • Jul 24, 2014
    The public debate over the recent surge in child migrants across the US border with Mexico should spur Congress to reform US immigration policy, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a multimedia feature jointly with Time magazine and Platon/The People’s Portfolio.
  • Jul 22, 2014
  • Jun 25, 2014
    The United States government’s policy of detaining unaccompanied migrant children, some for long periods, and providing inadequate processing puts them in harm’s way. On June 24, 2014, the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing on unaccompanied migrant children – children traveling without parents or guardians. Later today, the House Judiciary Committee will also hold a hearing on the issue.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    There's no reliable evidence that putting families who enter the US illegally into detention centers actually deters unauthorized immigration. But there's plenty of evidence that it can cause children in those families severe harm – from anxiety and depression, to long-term cognitive damage. That's one big reason that family detention for immigration violations is banned under international law.
  • Jun 24, 2014
  • Jun 24, 2014
  • Jun 24, 2014
    When Human Rights Watch first saw Yemi, the 17-year-old boy was huddled on a concrete bench in the corner of a windowless, graffitied holding cell run by the French border police. Clad in a stiff new leather jacket but otherwise without clothing warm enough to face Paris in January, Yemi had been in the cell for nine hours.
  • May 9, 2014
    Mother’s Day can be particularly devastating for parents of migrant children.
  • Apr 10, 2014
    Last month I stood in a room at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, talking to a scared refugee boy and sharing a box of cookies. Abid was alone in France, without a parent or a guardian. But was he really in France? I was on French soil. But according to the French government, Abid, 16, was not in the same country as I. And under that Kafkaesque legal fiction, they kept him locked up at the airport.
  • Apr 8, 2014
    France detains as many as 500 children who arrive in the country alone each year in transit zones at the borders, where they are denied the protection and due process rights afforded other unaccompanied children on French territory. Any unaccompanied child who arrives in France should be admitted to the country and provided with shelter and care while their immigration claims are decided.