The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families endorsed on Monday 5 September a set of principles aimed at guiding actions concerning children on the move and other children affected by migration.
Defence for Children International (DCI), which contributed to the recommended principles as part of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Child Immigration Detention, commends the Committee for adopting the principles and reminding the international community that the protection of the human rights of child migrants must always be seen as a priority.
The principles provide a concise and non-controversial reminder of well-established international norms, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Their core focus is the protection of the human rights and wellbeing of children at all stages of the migration process. José Brillantes, Chair of the Committee, declared that “the Recommended Principles set out in simple terms that the best interests of a child should be a primary consideration in all actions concerning them. They also make it clear that detaining children because of their parents’ migration status constitutes a child rights violation.”.
This powerful reminder of States’ obligations under international law must now be accompanied by political willingness, in order to ensure that the human rights of all migrants, children included, are always seen as a priority. “Political leadership and commitment are needed now more than ever to ensure that migration policies put the human rights of all migrants, as human beings, at the forefront”, added Mr. Brillantes.