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Procedures for minor asylum seekers in breach of children’s rights

The procedures for admitting minor asylum seekers from Camp Moria on Lesbos to the Netherlands are in breach of children’s rights according to Ton Liefaard, Professor of Children’s Rights and Peter Rodrigues, Professor of Immigration Law.

Besides financial and humanitarian assistance, the Netherlands is prepared to admit a total of 100 asylum seekers, 50 minor asylum seekers and 50 persons in a family unit with minor children. Unfortunately, strict conditions apply and the rules have been tightened even further:

  • The number of asylum seekers to be admitted will be deducted from the annual UNHCR resettlement quota which amounts to 500;
  • The 50 minor asylum seekers must be younger than 14 years of age instead of 18 years;
  • For reasons of efficiency, the interviews for the initial application and the reason for applying for asylum have been merged. Up to now these were two separate interviews in the asylum procedure.

These plans, driven by the desire to control migration, are lacking in humanity and undermine the rights and interests of unaccompanied chidlren seeking asylum. This poor offer of help is inadequate and in light of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, requires a serious rethink. See opinion piece by Liefaard and Rodrigues in Dutch newspaper Dagblad Trouw.

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