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Children on the move

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Child Migration and the Law: Status, detention and court proceedings

Immigration systems and border protection structures are often inadequately prepared to guarantee just and fair legal procedures for children. Our featured experts highlight the main issues.

Content Summary: hidden dimensions of child migration; problem of defining status of children separately from parents; legal requirement to provide legal representation not observed; only small share go to immigration court with a lawyer; majority of children with legal representation have claims approved; decision on status of migrant children left to border guards; backlogs in legal process often denies children essential services; known risks of children put in administrative detention; priority to secure child’s best interest; children universally exempt from detention – no possible justification.



Jacqueline Bhabha Jacqueline Bhabha
Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Mike Dottridge Mike Dottridge
Independent Expert
Andrea Rossi Andrea Rossi
Sr. Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Mozambique Country Office
Simon Parker Simon Parker
Director, University of York. School of Social and Political Science
Victoria Rietig Victoria Rietig
Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute