Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights comments that decisions concerning migrant children must always be based on their best interests

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Commissioner, Nils Muižnieks, strongly condemns forced returns of children, detention of children, the use of X-ray tests to determine age, and recent proposals by the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom to set up a 'return house' called the 'Welcoming Centre' in Afghanistan to facilitate the return of children. While aimed at family reunification, the idea has been opposed due to risks of sexual and military trafficking, the high difficulty of family tracing in Afghanistan, and the risks of child disappearance and persecution. The Commissioner joins NGOs, and voices within the UN and the Council of Europe, in objecting to 'return houses'. A review, which places a child's best interests as the primary consideration, is demanded by the Commissioner.

See the Commissioner's full comment here.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Best interest of the child
Unaccompanied minor
Council of Europe