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Children on the Move

image of Children on the Move
Millions of children are on the move, both within and between countries, with or without their parents. The conditions under which movement takes place are often treacherous, putting migrant children, especially unaccompanied and separated children, at an increased risk of economic or sexual exploitation, abuse, neglect and violence. Policy responses to protect and support these migrant children are often fragmented and inconsistent and while children on the move have become a recognised part of today's global and mixed migration flows they are still largely invisible in debates on both child protection and migration.

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Preface: The rights of all children in the context of international migration

The outcome document of the special session of the General Assembly on children, A World Fit for Children, pledged to build “a world in which all girls and boys can enjoy childhood… where their safety and well-being are paramount and where they can develop in health, peace and dignity.” For migrant children, especially those in irregular situations, this goal often remains illusory. Migrant children are often overlooked in the development of national laws and policies addressing migration and child welfare. The situation is even direr for migrant children in irregular situations, who are often treated as criminals. Despite the existence of international laws designed to respect, protect and fulfil all children’s rights, States have yet to fully implement these rights for the migrant child, as they often overlook the migrant child as a distinct rights-holder in developing migration laws and policies.

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