Rights of accompanied children in asylum proceedings: the challenges of a holistic approach and high quality decision-making – Ellen Desmet

When children’s rights and state sovereignty meet in migration law, their relationship becomes fraught with tensions. This could be a key reason why 15 of the 16 communications on which the CRC Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted views pursuant to Article 10(5) of the Optional Protocol providing a Communications Procedure (CRC OP3), concern the rights of children in a migration context.

The present case of V.A. v. Switzerland (CRC/C/85/D/56/2018) also concerns asylum seeking children. In it the CRC Committee found a violation of Article 12 CRC because the author’s two children, E.A and U.A (hereinafter: ‘the children’) had not been heard pending a Dublin transfer from Switzerland to Italy. Moreover, the fact that the Swiss authorities had not heard the two children on their traumatic migratory experiences demonstrated a lack of due diligence in assessing their best interests, amounting to a violation of Articles 3 and 12 of the CRC.

The author’s claims under Article 2 (non-discrimination), Article 6(2) (right to life, survival and development), Article 24 (right to the highest attainable standard of health) and Article 37 (protection against inhuman and degrading treatment) of the CRC were considered inadmissible. Although the CRC Committee declared the author’s claim under Article 22 CRC (protection of refugee and asylum seeking children) admissible, it did not engage with this provision in its consideration of the merits.

Read more of this blog on childrensrightsobservatory.nl !! (Published by Universiteit Leiden)

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