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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.

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.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - November 2020

20-11-2020

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

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.

Údar seachtarach

Adriana DE RUITER

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.

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.

EU contribution to the fight against child poverty

11-11-2019

The number of children at risk of poverty – almost one in four – remains high in the European Union. As 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the opportunity arises to take stock of what the European Union is doing to fight child poverty. Even though legal competence for child policy remains primarily with the Member States, the fight against child poverty is a major priority of the European Union (EU). The Europe 2020 Strategy ...

The number of children at risk of poverty – almost one in four – remains high in the European Union. As 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the opportunity arises to take stock of what the European Union is doing to fight child poverty. Even though legal competence for child policy remains primarily with the Member States, the fight against child poverty is a major priority of the European Union (EU). The Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Pillar of Social Rights reflect the EU's increasing willingness to tackle child poverty, while the use of European funds is key to success. The European Parliament has always been at the forefront of this fight, most recently with the promotion of a Child Guarantee Scheme.

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.

Children's rights and the UN SDGs: A priority for EU external action

11-11-2019

The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for sustainable development includes a strong commitment by all states to respect human rights, in line with international law and other relevant international documents, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This covers the rights of the child as enshrined mainly in the UN Covenant on the Rights of the Child and other relevant human rights treaties. No action to implement the SDGs can be detrimental to the rights of the child. More ...

The United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for sustainable development includes a strong commitment by all states to respect human rights, in line with international law and other relevant international documents, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This covers the rights of the child as enshrined mainly in the UN Covenant on the Rights of the Child and other relevant human rights treaties. No action to implement the SDGs can be detrimental to the rights of the child. More than a normative framework guiding the implementation of the SDGs, the rights of the child are a fundamental enabling factor for sustainable development and vice versa. Healthy, well-nourished, well-educated children, who are protected from violence and abuse, are the best guarantee of long-term sustainable development. On the other hand, the rights of the child can only be realised in an appropriate environment – peaceful, prosperous, protective of the child and fostering human development. Thus, there is a natural convergence between the SDGs and specific children's rights. The SDGs, through the comprehensive and regular monitoring they put in place, provide an opportunity for an assessment of the state of the most fundamental rights of the child, as enshrined in the Covenant. Most recent data actually warn that many relevant SDGs may not be achieved by 2030. While progress has been steady in certain areas, particularly on health-related issues, in others, progress has been less conclusive. The EU prioritises children's rights and relevant SDGs in its external action. It aims at mainstreaming human rights including children's rights in its development assistance to connect the normative and developmental dimensions. The European Parliament has repeatedly defended the need to protect and promote children's rights through EU external action, and has asked the Commission to propose a strategy and action plan in this sense.

Fighting child poverty: The child guarantee

16-09-2019

The note covers existing evidence on the volume and nature of child poverty, knowledge on the consequences and effects of child poverty, the known effectiveness of the main social policy approaches to child poverty, assessment of the 2013 Recommendation on Investing in Children and the Child Guarantee. It concludes with suggestions for future priorities for the Guarantee.

The note covers existing evidence on the volume and nature of child poverty, knowledge on the consequences and effects of child poverty, the known effectiveness of the main social policy approaches to child poverty, assessment of the 2013 Recommendation on Investing in Children and the Child Guarantee. It concludes with suggestions for future priorities for the Guarantee.

Údar seachtarach

Mary Daly, University of Oxford

Imeachtaí atá ar na bacáin

21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Inside the room - Shaping Europe, 1992-2010
Imeacht eile -
EPRS
21-09-2021
Putting the 'e' in e-health
Ceardlann -
STOA
27-09-2021
Turning the tide on cancer: the national parliaments' view on Europe's Cancer Plan
Imeacht eile -
BECA

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