Human Lives Human Rights: The European Union’s Commission expressed its fears regarding the increase in the number of children and teenage migrants to the European nations.
The commission’s representative Ciara Bottomley said: “Children in migration are particularly vulnerable because of their age, their distance from home, and often their separation from parents or carers and require specific and appropriate protection.”
The number of asylum applicants admitted to the EU in September topped the levels preceding the pandemic, containing 2,800 unaccompanied kids, as the newest information issued by the EU’s statistical institute Eurostat show.
In a 2017 communication on the protection of children in migration, the commission had signaled the need for the member states to take action to respond to the needs of unaccompanied children, she added.
She added that the case can witness some development by “improving data collection and cross-border collaboration with the relevant authorities, ensuring that a person responsible for child protection is present at an early stage and that procedures and protocols to systematically report and respond to all instances of unaccompanied children going missing are put in place.”
Referring to the commission’s new immigration and asylum package, she said the new rules “will ensure that the best interest of the child is the primary consideration in decision-making.”
According to Eurostat’s latest data, unaccompanied minors come mostly from Afghanistan, Somalia, Guinea, Syria, Albania, Cameroon, Eritrea and Gambia.
Austria received 660 asylum applications, Belgium 390, Netherlands 300, Bulgaria 245 and Germany 230. Greece, Italy, Spain, Romania followed them with over 100 applications.
Meanwhile, Michael Genet of the Doctors of the World Association in Belgium said that it will take time for the projects currently carried out by non-governmental organizations to solve the problem of unaccompanied children.
To tackle the issue, Genet noted that solutions at the state and EU levels are required.