Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2022) | Viewed by 21597

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
W.H. Lea for Justice Endowed Chair in Pediatric Law, Ethics & Policy, University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
Interests: children's rights; business law clinic; child and family advocacy clinic; immigration clinic; trusts and estates clinic

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Human Rights Watch, New York, NY 10118-3299, USA
Interests: juvenile justice; refugee; migrant children

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for the incredible work that so many of you are doing to respond to the migration of children and families in recent years. We appreciate and admire all of the efforts worldwide to try to protect and help ensure the rights of children in migration are fulfilled.

Twenty years into the 21st century, we believe it is time to research, reflect on, document, critique, theorize, and envision ways to protect the rights of children in migration. Thus, we are excited to partner with Laws, a peer-reviewed, open access international journal, to publish a Special Issue focused specifically on “Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration.”

We are seeking research papers, opinion pieces, commentaries, reflections, and book reviews related to cases, strategies, proceedings, resources, and efforts to protect the rights of children in migration. Authors may be academics, researchers, policy makers, practitioners, students, and, of course, children and families who have experienced the challenges and rewards of the migratory process.

Our hope is that this collection of works will serve as a resource to children, their families and advocates, students, researchers, scholars, and policymakers. We want to create a platform that will create greater understanding of the rights of children in migration and the challenges they face in the fulfillment of their rights, with a focus on strategies and remedies to overcome these challenges in individual cases, nationally, and as a global society. This shared knowledge may help to design and implement migration channels, policies, and practices that will ensure that future generations of children will be able to get where they need to go quickly and safely without unnecessary delay or trauma in the years to come.

With the effects of the climate crisis, economic inequality, armed conflict, and racial and gender violence evident worldwide, children and families will continue to be compelled to migrate for generations to come. It is critical that we continue to focus our collective time, expertise, and energy on this critical issue. We hope you will consider sharing what you have learned thus far so we can help disseminate it worldwide, for free, in this Special Issue.

Sincerely,
Prof. Warren Binford
Prof. Dr. Michael Bochenek
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • children’s rights
  • child rights
  • human rights
  • human rights of children
  • family rights
  • immigration
  • migrant children
  • migrants
  • migrant families
  • immigrant rights
  • international law
  • immigration law
  • transnational law
  • transitional justice
  • legal remedies
  • restorative justice
  • children’s law
  • family law
  • migration
  • remedies
  • legal protections
  • children
  • families
  • treaties
  • refugees
  • child refugees
  • refugee families
  • asylum seekers
  • unaccompanied minors
  • unaccompanied children
  • unaccompanied child

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

29 pages, 349 KiB  
Article
Few Paths after a Long Journey: The Need for a Juvenile Immigration System
by Steven M. Virgil
Laws 2023, 12(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12040060 - 05 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1378
Abstract
Thousands of unaccompanied children arrive at the U.S. border each year. In many cases, these children are fleeing harsh conditions in their home country in search for safety and family. The U.S. immigration system lacks an adequate response for these children, providing only [...] Read more.
Thousands of unaccompanied children arrive at the U.S. border each year. In many cases, these children are fleeing harsh conditions in their home country in search for safety and family. The U.S. immigration system lacks an adequate response for these children, providing only two exceedingly difficult paths: asylum and the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status designation. While providing access to a path to citizenship over time, the system is arcane and adversarial. Moreover, through it all, these children lack a right to an advocate who can protect their interest or at a minimum advise the immigration court of how to serve the child’s best interests. This article explores issues surrounding unaccompanied children in the U.S. immigration system and suggests the need for an independent juvenile immigration justice system similar to the Federal Juvenile Criminal Justice System. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
30 pages, 546 KiB  
Article
The Persistent, Pernicious Use of Pushbacks against Children and Adults in Search of Safety
by Michael Garcia Bochenek
Laws 2023, 12(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12030034 - 23 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3355
Abstract
Border pushbacks, including at the European Union’s external borders and by countries such as Australia, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States, are common—and in fact have become a new normal. These border policing or other operations aim to prevent people from reaching, entering, [...] Read more.
Border pushbacks, including at the European Union’s external borders and by countries such as Australia, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States, are common—and in fact have become a new normal. These border policing or other operations aim to prevent people from reaching, entering, or remaining in a territory. Screening for protection needs is summary or non-existent. Pushbacks violate the international prohibitions of collective expulsion and refoulement, and pushbacks of children are inconsistent with the best interests principle and other children’s rights standards. Excessive force, other ill-treatment, family separation, and other rights violations may also accompany pushback operations. Despite formidable obstacles such as weak oversight mechanisms, undue judicial deference to the executive, and official ambivalence, domestic court rulings and other initiatives show some promise in securing compliance with international standards and affording a measure of accountability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
15 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
A Will and a Way: Making Displaced Children’s Right to Education Enforceable
by Bill Van Esveld
Laws 2023, 12(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010016 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2229
Abstract
All children have the right to education without discrimination, but half of refugee children are out of school, far worse than global averages. Obstacles to education for refugee and migrant children include poverty and overstretched resources in host countries, and humanitarian donors and [...] Read more.
All children have the right to education without discrimination, but half of refugee children are out of school, far worse than global averages. Obstacles to education for refugee and migrant children include poverty and overstretched resources in host countries, and humanitarian donors and agencies have important roles and should ensure the right to education. However, policy barriers to education are key drivers of the education crisis facing displaced children. These policy barriers are internationally unlawful, but the children affected often lack standing under domestic law to demand a remedy. Countries with laws enshrining migrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee children’s rights to education and the European Union’s response to Ukrainian refugee learners provide examples that advocates can use to help raise the global floor for displaced children’s right to education. Advocates should press all countries to grant all children, including migrants and refugees, the enforceable right to education in domestic law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
26 pages, 1030 KiB  
Article
Pediatric Perspectives and Tools for Attorneys Representing Immigrant Children: Conducting Trauma-Informed Interviews of Children from Mexico and Central America
by Ryan B. Matlow, Alan Shapiro and N. Ewen Wang
Laws 2023, 12(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010007 - 09 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3018
Abstract
Pediatric health and mental health professionals with expertise in the physical and emotional needs of immigrant children seeking humanitarian protection are trained to understand and address the sometimes deeply traumatic nature of their experience. This expertise plays an important role in collaborating with [...] Read more.
Pediatric health and mental health professionals with expertise in the physical and emotional needs of immigrant children seeking humanitarian protection are trained to understand and address the sometimes deeply traumatic nature of their experience. This expertise plays an important role in collaborating with immigration attorneys to provide compassionate, trauma-informed representation that centers on children’s best interests. In medicine, we say that “children are not small adults,” such that meeting a child’s needs requires consideration of their developmental stage and the unique impacts of child trauma exposure. This also holds true for legal professionals dedicated to protecting the rights of children in migration. This article aims to (1) review the principles of trauma-informed care in the context of child development, (2) understand the traumatic nature of the migration paradigm for children from Mexico and Central America seeking safety and protection, and (3) suggest ways that healthcare, mental health and legal professionals can inform one another’s efforts to optimize the wellbeing of children and improve legal outcomes. The application of this knowledge in practice can advance legal goals, reduce risk for child re-traumatization during interviews, and reinforce child strengths while also reducing vicarious trauma and burnout for legal professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research

73 pages, 785 KiB  
Project Report
Report on Enforcing the Rights of Children in Migration
by Warren Binford, Michael Garcia Bochenek, Pablo Ceriani Cernadas, Emma Day, Sarah Field, Marci Hamilton, Ton Liefaard, Benyam Mezmur, Fasil Mulatu, Ann Skelton, Julia Sloth-Nielsen, João Stuart, Hans Van Loon and Jinske Verhellen
Laws 2023, 12(5), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12050085 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2043
Abstract
The ILA Study Group began its work by identifying guiding principles that should frame and inform state practices with respect to children in migration. These principles included, but were not limited to, non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, [...] Read more.
The ILA Study Group began its work by identifying guiding principles that should frame and inform state practices with respect to children in migration. These principles included, but were not limited to, non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival, and development; the right of the child to express their views on all matters affecting them; and the right to an effective remedy. The Study Group identified some of the most common rights violations for children in migration such as arbitrary age assessment practices; inadequate and age-inappropriate reception policies and facilities; and immigration detention of children and other coercive practices. The Study Group undertook a multidisciplinary approach by summarizing the research documenting the harmful effects of these practices on child health and well-being. It surveyed (1) treaties and international instruments that might recognize a right or remedy for children on the move; (2) regional and international fora where the claims of children could be heard; and (3) the growing body of regional and international jurisprudence upholding the rights of children in migration. Finally, it identified gaps in the international and regional frameworks and formulated recommendations as to how to ensure children in migration are able to enforce their rights and access justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
13 pages, 503 KiB  
Essay
Policy and Legal Implications for Working with Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in Foster Care in the United States
by Kerri Evans
Laws 2023, 12(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12020031 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3260
Abstract
Unaccompanied immigrant children arrive in the US having fled deteriorating conditions and human rights violations in their home countries. Despite the large numbers of unaccompanied children, there is a lack of research on outcomes for unaccompanied children in the US and particularly for [...] Read more.
Unaccompanied immigrant children arrive in the US having fled deteriorating conditions and human rights violations in their home countries. Despite the large numbers of unaccompanied children, there is a lack of research on outcomes for unaccompanied children in the US and particularly for those in the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) Long Term Foster Care (LTFC) program. This manuscript begins with a review of the existing laws that influence unaccompanied children (UC) served through the ORR’s LTFC program and a review of the current research on UC in foster care in the US. Notably, this manuscript also visualizes the numbers of UC that have arrived in the US since the early 2000s. These are used to provide a synthesis of recommendations for policy and practice with unaccompanied children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 209 KiB  
Brief Report
Understanding the Healthcare Needs of Immigrant Children Currently and Previously in Government Custody: A Narrative
by Jaime La Charite, Elizabeth W. Tucker, Julia Rosenberg, Janine Young, Nikita Gupta and Katherine Hoops
Laws 2023, 12(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010018 - 08 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1740
Abstract
Little is known of pediatric clinicians’ experiences with and approaches to taking care of immigrant children who have been in US custody. The objectives of this article are to (1) recognize the challenges facing pediatric clinicians in caring for immigrant children previously in [...] Read more.
Little is known of pediatric clinicians’ experiences with and approaches to taking care of immigrant children who have been in US custody. The objectives of this article are to (1) recognize the challenges facing pediatric clinicians in caring for immigrant children previously in custody, and (2) propose ways that healthcare and legal professionals can collaborate to optimize the wellbeing of formerly detained immigrant children. We identify themes by assessing answers to multiple choice and short responses from a national survey. These findings can help to identify current issues faced by both detained immigrant children and pediatric clinicians, and suggest approaches to addressing these issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
7 pages, 204 KiB  
Perspective
The Trauma of the Family Separation Policy on Migrant Children (2017–2022)
by Mariela Olivares
Laws 2023, 12(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12010017 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2751
Abstract
This work explores the plight of child migrants in the United States, specifically examining the Trump administration’s use of family separation as a means of migration deterrence between 2017 and 2020. The perspective discusses the ongoing physical and psychological trauma that these separated [...] Read more.
This work explores the plight of child migrants in the United States, specifically examining the Trump administration’s use of family separation as a means of migration deterrence between 2017 and 2020. The perspective discusses the ongoing physical and psychological trauma that these separated families continue to face. I explore the Biden administration’s Interagency Task Force on Family Reunification that is working to identify and reunify those families still separated while providing them with immigration and other resources and mental health therapy. I conclude by noting the critical importance of ensuring that families are never again separated in the name of immigration enforcement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protecting the Rights of Children in Migration)
Back to TopTop