The side event #CrossborderChildhood: the rights of migrant children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

ADC Memorial invites you to the side event #CrossborderChildhood: the rights of migrant children in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that will take place this Friday, i.e. 20.09.2019 at 13h30 during the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2019 in Warsaw (National Stadium, Plenary hall)

Millions  migrate in the region of  Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Children coming with their parents and unaccompanied minors traveling in groups or alone are among them. Council of Europe and UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recognize that children migrants are very vulnerable group at high risk of exploitation, detention, violence.

Nowadays the return and repatriation of children migrants in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is regulated by Chisinau Agreement signed in 2002. Under the Chisinau Agreement, children are returned to their countries of origin through «transit institutions» that are included in a special list. These are closed institutions, regardless of whether they are reception centers operated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, transit shelters, or juvenile adaptation centers, which are classified as social or educational institutions. In real life the placement of children who have not committed any crimes to closed institutions led to violation of rights of the children, detention of children, separation of families, deny of right to education and other problems. Moreover, the agreement is outdated because the list of transit institutions in the Chisinau Agreement does not corresponded to reality: Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova have shut down police-run reception centers; migrant children in Kazakhstan are placed in adaptation centers under the Ministry of Education; and police-run reception centers in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Ukraine now co-exist with social centers for migrant children.

ADC Memorial started a campaign #Crossborderchildhood in order to support creating new  modern regulations to protect migrant children rights in these countries. Special treaties between the countries are to be based on the positions of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Committee on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families concerning the rights of children in migration. Most important principles regulating the rights of children in migration should be: a ban on the criminalization and immigration-related detention of children, a ban on the separation of children from their parents solely due to the migration status of the children and/or their parents, transfer of the topic of «children in migration» from the police sphere to the social protection/educational sphere, a guarantee of the right to education of migrant children. We call the countries of the region to elaborate new bilateral agreements that would regulate the return and re-admission of children migrants in accordance with international children rights standards.