Undocumented children – children with an irregular migration or residence status - are often described as ‘invisible’, ‘living underground’, or ‘under the radar’. To a large extent they are ignored in policy. They are the children that fall through the gaps in the existing protection frameworks for children who are considered more vulnerable, although they have equal rights, and in many cases, face similar risks and challenges.
When accompanied by a parent, migrant children are often treated exactly as adults, rather than individuals with agency and rights of their own. Their rights as a child and best interests are very rarely considered, and they are not heard in immigration and asylum proceedings. Particularly when considered irregular or undocumented migrants, they can be subject to restricted access to essential services, including education and health care, as well as arrest, detention and deportation. There is also a fundamental lack of data, which perpetuates their exclusion from policy and public debates.
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Извор: WUNRN – 06.01.2017