Full text 
Procedure : 2009/2547(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0112/2009

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 10/03/2009 - 18
CRE 10/03/2009 - 18

Votes :

PV 12/03/2009 - 7.8
CRE 12/03/2009 - 7.8
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
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Thursday, 12 March 2009 - Strasbourg
Children of Migrants

European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2009 on migrant children left behind in the country of origin

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the United Nations Convention of 20 November 1989 on the Rights of the Child, in particular Articles 3 and 20 thereof,

–   having regard to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, in particular Articles 38, 42 and 45 thereof,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 24 thereof,

–   having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the free movement of workers is beneficial for the economies of all Member States and offers to EU citizens the opportunity for economic and personal development,

B.   whereas these positive effects may be reduced by undesired side-effects of migration, among them the poor living conditions of the children that remain in the country of origin when their parents migrate to another Member State,

C.   whereas labour migration has steadily increased over the past decades and nowadays most of the world's international migrants – 64 million – reside in the European Union,

D.   whereas migration has a huge potential to enhance development but also leads to problems, as yet unresolved, in both the country of origin and the country of destination,

E.   whereas, according to a study made by UNICEF and Social Alternatives in Romania, in 2008 almost 350 000 children had at least one parent who was working abroad, and nearly 126 000 were affected by the migration of both parents,

F.   whereas migration can have a positive impact on households in the country of origin, because through remittances and other channels it reduces poverty and increases investment in human capital,

G.   whereas, however, for the children that are left behind by parents working in another Member State, there are also possible negative aspects including the risk of general lack of care as regards physical and mental health, and mental-health related effects of depression, the loss of free time to play and develop, lack of school participation and general participation in education and training, malnutrition and child abuse,

H.   whereas, while there is a comprehensive policy in place to improve the living conditions and education of migrant children who move with their parents to the country of destination, the phenomenon of children left behind in the country of origin has received little attention,

I.   whereas children are often left behind in the country of origin due to lack of information on opportunities and benefits offered by the countries of destination,

1.  Calls on the Commission to undertake a study to assess the extent, at EU level, of the phenomenon of migrants" children left behind in the country of origin and to collect EU-wide data on this phenomenon;

2.  Calls on the Member States to take steps to improve the situation of the children left by their parents in the country of origin and to ensure their normal educational and social development;

3.  Calls on the Member States to set up cooperation mechanisms to prevent the detrimental effects on families (and especially children), of living apart and of the distances they have to bridge;

4.  Calls on the Member States to inform migrants better about their rights and the rights of their family members concerning free movement and about the information available at national and European level on living abroad and the terms and conditions of working in another Member State;

5.  Calls on the Commission to propose to all interested parties the adequate application of the already existing means to help migrants and their children who remain in the country of origin;

6.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to actively involve the social partners and NGOs in actions targeting the improvement of migrants" children;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the governments and parliaments of Member States and the social partners.

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