“Danish authorities should improve migrant children protection,” says Council of Europe / News / The Foreigner

“Danish authorities should improve migrant children protection,” says Council of Europe. COE Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks released the report following his visit to Denmark in November 2013. The best interests of a child are not upheld in Denmark in context of asylum and immigration, according to him. Moreover, “the Danish authorities should improve the protection they provide to migrant children, by ensuring full respect of their rights,” he said. Commissioner Muižnieks commended the Danish authorities on the work done. Nevertheless, he also points out that progress is needed in handling family reunifications. These should be carried out in a more humane way, especially when children are involved.

immigration, asylum, norway, scandinavia



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“Danish authorities should improve migrant children protection,” says Council of Europe

Published on Wednesday, 26th March, 2014 at 10:54 under the news category, by Manisha Choudhari.
Last Updated on 28th March 2014 at 10:27.

COE Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks released the report following his visit to Denmark in November 2013.

Nils Muižnieks
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights pictured here in Strasbourg while presenting his first annual report last year.Nils Muižnieks
Photo: © Sandro Weltin/Council of Europe


The best interests of a child are not upheld in Denmark in context of asylum and immigration, according to him. Moreover, “the Danish authorities should improve the protection they provide to migrant children, by ensuring full respect of their rights,” he said.

Commissioner Muižnieks commended the Danish authorities on the work done. Nevertheless, he also points out that progress is needed in handling family reunifications. These should be carried out in a more humane way, especially when children are involved.

Minors over 14 years of age should have the right to family reunification too in order to comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Commissioner also pointed out that the best interests of the child should prevail over their own and/or their parents’ integration potential.

The same issue has come up in other Scandinavian country Norway. There have been some high-profile trials and deportations following release of the previous government’s whitepaper.

Norway’s new Centre-Right coalition has recently published its new immigration policies.

Uncertainty affects children

In his report, Commissioner Muižnieks also expressed alarm at the impact that life in asylum centers for unspecified periods of time has on the children who belong to families of rejected asylum-seekers.

This concerns those whose deportation order cannot be carried out.

While the living conditions are satisfactory, “an increasing number of these children suffer from psycho-social disorders and other developmental problems due to long-term uncertainty.”

“This situation can hardly be reconciled with the right to a standard of living adequate for the child's development,” he said. 

When told that children are not considered independent from parents in asylum-proceedings, the Commissioner stressed that “children may have serious grounds for claiming asylum in their own right, and can be confronted with persecution, fear of persecution and risks of a child-specific nature, such as under-age military recruitment, trafficking, sexual exploitation or genital mutilation.”

Disappearances

He also demanded an investigation into the fate of the unaccompanied minor migrants who have disappeared from reception centers.

Measures should be taken that are in line with the recommendations of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

These are designed to safeguard children from becoming victims of human trafficking and also prevent more disappearances, also an issue in Norway too.

Danish authorities should also to increase their efforts in battling racist and xenophobic speech, Commissioner Muižnieks declared in his report.

“While the COE seems fairly satisfied with the progress the authorities are making, he urges them to pay heed to his points in order to make the lives of the vulnerable easier, and to make society more accepting diverse people,” it is stated.




Published on Wednesday, 26th March, 2014 at 10:54 under the news category, by Manisha Choudhari.
Last updated on 28th March 2014 at 10:27.

This post has the following tags: immigration, asylum, norway, scandinavia.





  
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