The human rights of unaccompanied migrant children
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has launched an inquiry into the human rights of unaccompanied migrant children and young people in the UK, with a particular focus on those who are seeking asylum or have been the victims of trafficking.
The Committee seeks evidence on any aspect of this topic, but in particular in relation to the questions set out below:
- Is the treatment of unaccompanied migrant children and young people in the UK consistent with the UK’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)?
- To what extent is the statutory duty in section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, and its accompanying guidance, proving effective in ensuring that in practice public bodies have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children?
- How are unaccompanied migrant children’s best interests being considered and upheld in immigration decisions made about the leave to remain or enter?
- Is the current decision-making process on children’s asylum claims satisfactory and does it represent the finding of a ‘durable solution’ for each child in the UK, in accorance with the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child?
- Are unaccompanied children able to access the legal advice and representation necessary to ensure that they are able to have their voice heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting them, and that their rights are upheld, in accordance with international standards? Should there be a system of guardians for unaccompanied and separated migrant children to ensure that their interests are represented?
- Are all unaccompanied migrant children made aware of the existence of a system for appealing against immigration and asylum decisions, and is this appeal system satisfactory?
- Is the relationship between immigration legislation and child welfare legislation compatible with the UK’s international human rights obligations?
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