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Children in Crisis: unaccompanied migrant children report debated by Lords

25 October 2016

On Tuesday 1 November the House of Lords debate the Committee's report on unaccompanied migrant children in the EU.


In their report, published in July, the Committee described the current refugee crisis as the greatest humanitarian crisis to have faced the EU since its foundation. In the face of the refugee crisis EU measures and policies concerning unaccompanied migrant children have proved to be inadequate, and some of the measures intended to address the wider refugee crisis may present problems for unaccompanied children.

The Debate

The debate follows the publication in July of a report by the EU Home Affairs Committee which considered whether existing EU provisions for unaccompanied migrant children are sufficiently clear and enforceable, and what further measures are needed to address the nature and scale of the problems they face. The Committee's main conclusions included:

  • Collectively, EU Member States are failing to comply with their obligations under EU and international law to receive and protect children in a manner that recognises their specific vulnerability
  • Age disputes have significant consequences for children's lives, and there is clear evidence that children have been placed in unsuitable conditions on the basis of a mistaken age assessment. Where doubt exists, authorities should observe their legal obligation to give young people claiming to be children the benefit of the doubt
  • The UK Government should develop, apply and routinely monitor national guidance on how to conduct best interests assessments with regard to unaccompanied minors
  • Further EU action on unaccompanied migrant children should focus on the implementation of those priorities of the the 2010-2014 Action Plan which have not yet been achieved.

Speakers in the Debate

The Rt Hon. the Baroness Prashar CBE, Chairman of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, will open the debate on the report Children in Crisis: unaccompanied migrant children in the EU

The Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister of State at the Home Office, will respond for the Government

Other Members of the House of Lords who are due to speak in the debate can be viewed on the Speakers' List

Further Information

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