Mind the gap: transitioning into undocumented adulthood in the European Union : durable solutions in the best interests of unaccompanied migrant children

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Guha Thakurta, Sheila
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Unaccompanied children whose asylum claim is denied in the European Union risk being returned to a country where their protection needs are not safeguarded. The international human rights framework requires host countries to identify durable solutions in the best interests of unaccompanied children. This conflicts with the interests of the European Union to combat irregular migration and deter individuals who do not qualify for asylum. States provide unaccompanied children whose claim for asylum was rejected and who cannot be returned a temporary right to stay, until these children turn eighteen and obligations of the State to protect their rights as children no longer exist. They remain or become undocumented upon ageing out and are then restricted from accessing rights and services which allow them to participate in society. For unaccompanied children who do not qualify for asylum, no durable solution in the best interests of the child is identified. This thesis aims to seek common ground between the best interests of the child with interests of the State to control migration flows, to identify a framework through which EU member states can find durable solutions for unaccompanied children, which provide more certainty about their legal status.
Second semester University: University of Coimbra
European Union, migrations, unaccompained migrant children, asylum, irregular migrations