Children in the context of migration
“Children in the context of migration” or “children affected by migration” are inclusive termsthat capture all children whose lives are affected by migration. For analytical, legal or administrative purposes, children are often treated according to various categories such as undocumented, unaccompanied, asylum-seeker, trafficked or remaining behind. However, children affected by migration may transition between various categories within the course of their childhood. Initiatives based on categorization can result in discrimination.
Therefore, more inclusive terminology can be at times useful, to foster the comprehensive approach required by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Committee on the Rights of the Child also uses “children in the context of migration”. By the same token, it isimportant that use of more inclusive terminology should not obscure the particular needs and vulnerabilities of specific groups of children (including asylum-seeking, refugee,stateless and trafficked children) or the international legal frameworks in place for their protection.
Another term used is “children on the move”. This term is however narrower than children affected by migration as it does not cover the children remaining behind. Children affected by migration can also include migrant children who are not on the move but have lived many years, or have even been born, in a destination country and consider it their home. This terminology has important consequences as policies for children temporarily in or moving through a country are different to those for children who have been residing in a country for their formative years, and may have the right to remain there, even if their residence is irregular.