IIMA delivers oral statement on Unaccompanied Migrant Children

On September 20, 2016, IIMA representative Christian Ruehling delivered
an oral statement to the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council (HRC) on the
global issue of unaccompanied
migrant children and adolescents

The intervention occurred after the Committee presented its progress
report on this issue, which was mandated by Human Rights Council resolution 29/12 at its 29th session in June 2015.
The progress report highlighted the complexities and challenges facing
States and civil society in tackling such a global issue. Unaccompanied migrant
children are a vulnerable segment of society whose access to primary and
secondary education is interrupted when they are forced to leave their home
countries due to conditions that are beyond their control.  Access to secondary education is of
particular importance as it allows adolescents who are transitioning to
adulthood to discover and develop their skills and find their purpose in the

As part of its oral
, IIMA called upon States, in particular States of origin, transit, and
destination, to:
  • Ensure that unaccompanied migrant
    children have access to primary and secondary education and that all
    government educators and professionals are adequately qualified to work
    with unaccompanied migrant children.
  • Coordinate and cooperate more
    effectively with each other, especially in regions experiencing major
    migration flows such as the Central American Northern Triangle, in order
    to protect and guarantee the human rights of unaccompanied migrant
    children in accordance with the guiding principle that the best interests
    of the child shall be of primary consideration in all State actions.
  • Develop additional best practices
    for the care and education of unaccompanied migrant children with a
    particular focus on adolescents who transition to adulthood.
IIMA welcomes the progress made to date by the Committee and looks
forward to the final report that is scheduled to be delivered to the Council at its thirty-sixth session in September 2017.