European Ombudspersons for Children seriously concerned by the new EU-Turkey agreement

April 8, 2016

Sofia, 5 April 2016

refugee child in Gevgelija

Photo credit: @UNICEF (Refugee child in Gevgelija)

On the occasion of the Council of Europe High-Level Conference “Reaching the heights of the rights of the child“, launching the new Council of Europe 2016-2021 Children’s Rights Strategy, that took place on 5-6 April in Sofia, Bulgaria, ENOC released a letter addressed to EU high authorities expressing serious concerns regarding the safety and the protection of the rights of children on the move in Europe, following the 18.03.2016 agreement between the EU and Turkey. While there is no direct reference to children and the protection of their rights in the agreement, ENOC remains particularly concerned by the unprecedented situation of unaccompanied children on the move in Greece and calls for an additional provision for the immediate relocation of a large number of unaccompanied minors. The letter also re-calls on competent EU authorities to initiate a comprehensive European Action Plan for Children on the Move including key areas and reminds obligations deriving from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments. Last but not least, ENOC urges the EU to pay due attention and consideration to the particularly vulnerable situation of children on the move in Europe by adopting more concrete guidelines regarding the treatment of unaccompanied children.

  • See the full text of the letter here 
  • See the Greek version of the letter here

Related information:

  • First report of the ENOC Task Force on Children on the Move (January 2016)
  • ENOC Open letter calling for action to stop repeated human tragedies in the Mediterranean (April 2015)
  • ENOC 2013 position statement  “Children on the Move: Children First!”
  • ENOC 2013 Child Participation project and videoChildren on the Move: Children First!