Wed | Jan 24, 2018

EU urged to do more to protect child migrants

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM
A Greek coast guard officer gives instructions to refugees and migrants who are travelling from the deserted Greek island of Pasas to the Oinousses by vessels from the coast guard and European Union’s border agency Frontex.


Children's rights advocates are urging the European Union to do more to protect young migrants, warning that if they survive risky boat journeys they often face "malnutrition, physical and mental suffering, health and welfare problems, lack of information and insecurity".

In an open letter to senior European officials yesterday, the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children urged senior European officials to better protect the fundamental rights of children who are part of the migrant surge.

Dutch children's ombudsman Marc Dullaert said he was shocked by the risks they face. He says, "I thought, and many people are thinking, that when you are in Europe, then you are safe. Well, on the contrary."

As well as poor living conditions in camps, they face the possibility of being sexually abused or exploited by traffickers or smugglers during their trek.