Unaccompanied migrant minors: vulnerable and voiceless

AutorPatrizia Rinaldi
P R1
Comillas Pontif‌i cal University of Madrid, Spain
More than half of the world’s refugee population are children. Alone
or accompanied, they f‌l ee from armed conf‌l ict, persecution, generalized
violence and the rampant violation of fundamental rights. They leave
their places of origin and engage in extremely dangerous journeys, which
in many cases are fatal. The situation of these children in the general
context of migration generates great concern, due to the vulnerability of
fundamental rights. With the emergence of the social agenda, the growing
concern for poverty and the particular risks that children, together face,
together with the awareness of the overriding importance of robust
fundamental rights protection, the rights of the child have arrived at the
forefront of European policies and the political agenda in the last decade
(Bhabha, 2016).
From a legal perspective, the most signif‌i cant recent development
at European level is the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty which
establishes among the aims of the UnionŚ ‘... the protection of the rights
of the child’ (Art. 3) and whereby the European Charter of Fundamental
Rights (the Charter) became binding. In this respect, Art. 24 is taxativeŚ
children have the right to such protection and care as is
necessary for their well-being’; their best interests must be
1 PhD candidate at Comillas Pontifical University of Madrid with the thesisŚ
“Unaccompanied Migrant MinorsŚ Transition to Adulthood”. She completed her Master’s
programme in Migration and Development Studies with the dissertation, “The best interest
of the childŚ the Tabhita case”. Email contactŚ prinaldi@comillas.edu.

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