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Recommendation 2160 (2019) Provisional version

Stop violence against, and exploitation of, migrant children

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 27 June 2019 (25th and 26th Sittings) (see Doc. 14905, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, rapporteur: Ms Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir; and Doc. 14919, opinion of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Ms Sevinj Fataliyeva). Text adopted by the Assembly on 27 June 2019 (26th Sitting).

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2295 (2019) “Stop violence against, and exploitation of, migrant children”.
2. It welcomes the work done by the Council of Europe in the framework of its Action Plan on Protecting Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe as a follow-up to the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees’ Thematic Report on migrant and refugee children, and in particular the chapter on preventing and responding to violence, trafficking and exploitation.
3. The Assembly acknowledges the work done by the Lanzarote Committee in monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS No. 201, “Lanzarote Convention”) and in supporting the European States to adopt specific legislation and take measures to prevent sexual violence against children, to protect the victims, including migrant children, and to prosecute the perpetrators. In particular, it welcomes the Lanzarote Committee’s special report on “Protecting children affected by the refugee crisis from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse”.
4. It also welcomes the work of the monitoring mechanism of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197), the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), aimed at the implementation by the member States of the obligations to provide rights for victims of trafficking, including migrant children, for example the right to be identified as a victim, to be protected and to be assisted.
5. The Assembly also supports the work of the Ad hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child (CAHENF), in particular through its Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children, and welcomes its current work to develop guidelines on children’s rights and safeguards in the context of migration, notably on guardianship and age assessment.
6. The Assembly therefore calls on the Committee of Ministers to:
6.1. adopt as soon as possible the guidelines on guardianship and age assessment in order to provide appropriate safeguards for children in the context of migration, and invite the CAHENF and other relevant Council of Europe bodies to promote them among the member States;
6.2. ask the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) to consider the possibility of developing European standards for non-custodial reception centres for migrant children;
6.3. call on the member States that are Parties to the Lanzarote Convention and have not yet done so, to take action to comply with the recommendations of the Lanzarote Committee’s special report on “Protecting children affected by the refugee crisis from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse”.