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Migrant children [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for migrant children.

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Children are particularly vulnerable during migration, and need careful protection against the dangers of people trafficking and abuse. The number of children arriving from third countries in the EU has increased significantly, particularly since the migratory crisis in 2015. About one in four people currently seeking asylum in the EU are children. In April 2017, the European Commission proposed to reinforce the protection of all migrant children at all stages of the migration process, complementing national efforts in this area.

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The proposed measures include: swift identification and protection upon arrival; adequate reception conditions for children; rapid status determination and effective guardianship; durable solutions for early integration; and addressing root causes and protecting children along migrant routes outside the EU. Current proposals to reform the common European asylum system and strengthen EU borders contain specific provisions on the protection of children. For example, a new Schengen alert will be created for ‘missing children’ to enable authorities to identify such cases.

Education plays an essential role in preparing immigrant children to participate in society and the labour market. The European Commission facilitates the exchange of good practices on integrating migrants, and funds projects promoting inclusive education. Giving migrant children opportunities to fully develop their potential is vital for future EU economic growth and social cohesion.

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