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Vulnerability of unaccompanied and separated child migrants

26-04-2021

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has estimated that the number of migrant children increased from 24 million during the 1990–2000 period to 33 million in 2019. In 2019 alone, some 33 200 children arrived in southern European countries, of which some 9 000 (27 %) were unaccompanied or separated from family member(s) on the journey. There are various reasons why a child may be unaccompanied or get separated, including persecution of the child or the parents; international conflict and civil ...

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has estimated that the number of migrant children increased from 24 million during the 1990–2000 period to 33 million in 2019. In 2019 alone, some 33 200 children arrived in southern European countries, of which some 9 000 (27 %) were unaccompanied or separated from family member(s) on the journey. There are various reasons why a child may be unaccompanied or get separated, including persecution of the child or the parents; international conflict and civil war; human trafficking and smuggling, including sale by parents; accidental separation from the parents over the course of their journey; and searching for better economic opportunities. Despite the existence of a comprehensive international legal framework on children's rights and their protection, irregular migrant children, especially those who are unaccompanied or who have been separated from their parents over their journey, face numerous obstacles and challenges during and after the migration process. Several international and European organisations have identified a number of protection gaps in the treatment of such children, including that they face greater risks of, inter alia, sexual exploitation and abuse, military recruitment, child labour (including for foster families) and detention. In many countries, they are routinely denied entry or detained by border or immigration officials. In other cases, they are admitted but are denied access to asylum procedures, or their asylum claims are not handled in an age and gender-sensitive manner. The vulnerable situation of unaccompanied and separated children worldwide, and the threats they face need to be addressed, particularly in view of the constant increase in their number. European Union asylum law offers special protection to such children, and the European Union has adopted numerous instruments and identified key actions for the protection of all children in migration, including those who are unaccompanied and separated. This briefing is an update of a 2016 briefing by Joanna Apap.

Recast Eurodac Regulation

26-03-2021

Eurodac is a biometric database in which Member States are required to enter the fingerprint data of asylum-seekers in order to identify where they entered the European Union (EU). Established in 2000 and reviewed in 2013, its main purpose is to facilitate the application of the Dublin Regulation. The 2013 revision broadened the scope to provide law enforcement authorities with access to the Eurodac database. As part of the reform of the common European asylum system in 2016, the European Commission ...

Eurodac is a biometric database in which Member States are required to enter the fingerprint data of asylum-seekers in order to identify where they entered the European Union (EU). Established in 2000 and reviewed in 2013, its main purpose is to facilitate the application of the Dublin Regulation. The 2013 revision broadened the scope to provide law enforcement authorities with access to the Eurodac database. As part of the reform of the common European asylum system in 2016, the European Commission proposed a recast Eurodac Regulation. The co-legislators reached a partial agreement on the proposal in 2018. As part of the broader migration and asylum pact, the new Commission presented an amended proposal on 23 September 2020. The Commission expects the co-legislators to promptly adopt the proposal on the basis of the agreement already reached. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

04-02-2021

The European Union (EU) is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM), as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to supporting the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around 6 February – the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note ...

The European Union (EU) is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM), as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to supporting the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around 6 February – the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally published in January 2015.

Curbing the surge in online child abuse: The dual role of digital technology in fighting and facilitating its proliferation

23-11-2020

The volume of child abuse materials circulating on the internet has increased dramatically during the pandemic, as both children and child sex offenders spend more time, and interact more, online. Enabled by digital technologies, child sex offenders have tapped into opportunities that were previously unavailable to communicate freely and directly with each other and with children, creating online communities where they share their crimes. Today, they can reach children via webcams, connected devices ...

The volume of child abuse materials circulating on the internet has increased dramatically during the pandemic, as both children and child sex offenders spend more time, and interact more, online. Enabled by digital technologies, child sex offenders have tapped into opportunities that were previously unavailable to communicate freely and directly with each other and with children, creating online communities where they share their crimes. Today, they can reach children via webcams, connected devices and chat rooms in social media and video games, while remaining anonymous thanks to technologies such as cloud computing, the dark web, end-to-end encryption and streaming. There has been a rise in grooming and sextortion incidents. Conversely, it is again digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and improved online age verification methods or age-appropriate design, which can help to curb the surge of the above crimes. Due to its capacity and speed of analysis, AI could play an important role in tackling the problem and assisting law enforcement in reducing the overwhelming amount of reports that need to be analysed. This is one of two EPRS briefings on the subject of fighting online child abuse. This one looks at technological aspects while the second one will cover legislative and policy issues.

40 years of the Hague Convention on child abduction: legal and societal changes in the rights of a child

06-11-2020

This in-depth analysis has been commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee in the context of the workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It looks into the implementation of the 1980 Convention, as regards the respect of autonomy of parts, validity of agreements and mediation, and describes, from a practitioner’s point of ...

This in-depth analysis has been commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee in the context of the workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It looks into the implementation of the 1980 Convention, as regards the respect of autonomy of parts, validity of agreements and mediation, and describes, from a practitioner’s point of view, how the parents and children see the process. The paper concludes that in order to protect the interest of the child, the 1980 Convention should be maintained with restricted exceptions, but more should be done in terms of prevention. The new measures should include, in particular, harmonisation of the relocation proceedings and principles, enforceability of mediation agreements, and increasing of the autonomy of the parties through the inclusion of residence and custody plans in prenuptial agreements.

THE CHILD PERSPECTIVE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE 1980 HAGUE CONVENTION

31-10-2020

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs in the context of the Workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, examines the way in which subject children feature within Convention proceedings. It considers the aims of the Convention, and the lack of supranational control of its application. It draws on empirical ...

This in-depth analysis, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs in the context of the Workshop to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, examines the way in which subject children feature within Convention proceedings. It considers the aims of the Convention, and the lack of supranational control of its application. It draws on empirical research relating to the effects and consequences of child abduction to discuss the opportunities for children and young people to participate within Convention proceedings, and highlights the international obligations for such participation within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and other regional instruments. Different jurisdictional approaches are explained, and the role of culture in this context is probed. The impact of COVID-19 on abducted children is also explored.

Shaping a European Child Guarantee

22-09-2020

The briefing presents data on the problem of child poverty in the European Union followed by an overview of policy initiatives by the Commission, the Council and the European Palriament. It concludes with points from the debate in research on how to shape an effective Child Guarantee. The note covers aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The briefing presents data on the problem of child poverty in the European Union followed by an overview of policy initiatives by the Commission, the Council and the European Palriament. It concludes with points from the debate in research on how to shape an effective Child Guarantee. The note covers aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, November I 2019

15-11-2019

The November I plenary session highlights included statements and debates on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Parliament also debated statements made by the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) on Turkish drilling activities in European Union waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, and on the situation in ...

The November I plenary session highlights included statements and debates on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Parliament also debated statements made by the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) on Turkish drilling activities in European Union waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, and on the situation in Bolivia and in Chile. Debates took place, inter alia, on Commission and Council statements on the international day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, on the resurgence of Ebola in East Africa, as well as on the situation of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the hotspots in Greek islands.

Children's rights in the EU: Marking 30 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

13-11-2019

Adopted in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was the first international instrument to explicitly recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Ratified by 197 countries, including all EU Member States, it has become the landmark treaty on children's rights, outlining universal standards for the care, treatment, survival, development, protection and participation of all children. The promotion and protection of children's rights is one of the key objectives ...

Adopted in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was the first international instrument to explicitly recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Ratified by 197 countries, including all EU Member States, it has become the landmark treaty on children's rights, outlining universal standards for the care, treatment, survival, development, protection and participation of all children. The promotion and protection of children's rights is one of the key objectives embedded in Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Moreover, Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU recognises that children are entitled to 'protection and care as is necessary for their well-being'. The same article recognises that the child's best interests should be the primary consideration for public authorities and private institutions. Over the years, the EU has moved from a sectoral approach towards a more coherent policy approach. Whereas initially, children's rights were developed in relation to specific areas such as the free movement of persons, since 2000 the EU has taken a more coordinated line. This Briefing takes stock of the most recent EU action to address and promote children's rights and looks at the upcoming challenges.

UN Convention on children's rights: 30 years on

11-11-2019

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the first international treaty to recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Since 1989, conditions for children have improved, but millions remain unprotected. This is an updated and expanded version of an 'at a glance' note from 2014.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the first international treaty to recognise children as human beings with innate rights. Since 1989, conditions for children have improved, but millions remain unprotected. This is an updated and expanded version of an 'at a glance' note from 2014.

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