Central Issues in the Protection of Child Migrants

Crock, Mary, and Lenni B Benson (eds), "Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice." Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018.

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/65

20 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018

See all articles by Mary Elizabeth Crock

Mary Elizabeth Crock

The University of Sydney Law School

Lenni Benson

New York Law School

Date Written: October 11, 2018

Abstract

In this introductory chapter we identify themes that will be carried throughout the book. We begin in section 2 with a discussion of the human rights challenges presented by children on the move, posing questions that our contributors will address as they build on the themes we identify. This is followed by an examination of obstacles that have been created to recognising child migrants as rights bearers. After setting out in section 4 a brief outline of the book’s structure, the chapter concludes with some comments on global initiatives that have been made to address the challenges associated with mass migration on the one hand and of forced movement of refugees on the other. We will argue that the uncertainty and risks facing the world in the new millennium certainly constitute problems – but they also offer opportunities for positive change.

Four foundational principles inform our discussion of how states should respond to children on the move. The first is that childhood is unique in that the status of being a child is transitory and (absent disabilities) the capacities of children evolve as children age. Second, it follows that children require special protection and assistance, most particularly in their younger and adolescent years, if they are to develop and thrive. The third point is that procedural accommodations should be made for children in recognition of the physical and cognitive stages of their development. The fourth and final principle both flows from and unites the three that precede it. It is that the treatment of child migrants matters because it has long term consequences – both for the children themselves and for their host communities.

Keywords: immigration, child protection, refugee law, human rights, citizenship

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K36, K37, Z18

Suggested Citation

Crock, Mary Elizabeth and Benson, Lenni Beth, Central Issues in the Protection of Child Migrants (October 11, 2018). Crock, Mary, and Lenni B Benson (eds), "Protecting Migrant Children: In Search of Best Practice." Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018.; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 18/65. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3264953

Mary Elizabeth Crock (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Lenni Beth Benson

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10011-2921
United States
212-431-2336 (Phone)
212 431 1830 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nyls.edu/bios/benson.html

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