Council of Europe: European Committee of Social Rights: Belgium violates social rights of irregular and asylum seeking children

Friday, October 4, 2013

The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) has found that Belgium violated several rights of the European Social Charter of 1961with respect to migrant and asylum-seeking children. Belgium will now have to take measures to ensure the protection of their rights in the future and report back to the ECSR.

The complaint was submitted by Defence for Children International, who alleged that remarkable numbers of unaccompanied foreign children in an irregular situation or seeking asylum found themselves in a situation of destitution and homelessness, forced to beg and deprived of medical care owing to the saturation of reception facilities. In the decision, the Committee finds violations of Article 17 (right to appropriate social, legal and economic protection), Article 7 (10) (right of children to special protection against physical and moral dangers), and Article 11 (right to protection of health) of the European Social Charter. In addition, the Committee holds that all these rights shall apply to children in an irregular situation despite the fact that this category is not included into the personal scope of the Charter, as they are indispensable for the protection of their life, integrity and human dignity.

Read the full decision at the European Social Charter.

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.



Health (right to)
Reception conditions
Unaccompanied minor
Council of Europe
European Social Charter
European Committee of Social Rights