The Rights of Refugee Children and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
1. Introduction and Approach
2. Identifying a Refugee Child
2.1. A Child
2.2. A Refugee
2.3. A Refugee Child
3. Refugee Children as Rights-Bearers or Welfare-Recipients
3.1. Rights or Legal Privileges?
3.2. Rights or Welfare?
4. The CRC and the Rights of Refugee Children
4.1. The CRC’s Provisions
4.2. The CRC Rights Belonging to Refugee Children
4.2.1. Rights to a Personal Life, Survival, and Development
4.2.2. Rights to a Normal Family Life
4.2.3. Rights to Health and Well-Being
4.2.4. Rights to Safety and Protection
4.2.5. Rights to Participate in Community
4.2.6. Illustrative Example
5. State Responses to Refugee Children’s Rights
5.1. Collateral Damage: Not Normal Families
5.2. Unaccompanied Minors: Not Children or Not Refugees?
5.3. Resettlement Arrangements
5.4. Participation in Society
6. Engaging with Rights in Intertwining Developmental and Refugee Experiences
6.1. Engaging with Living Rights
6.2. Claiming of Refugee Children’s Rights
7. Conclusions: Repositioning Refugee Children in the Protection Dialogue
Conflicts of Interest
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Throughout this paper, we use the term ‘refugee’ in the general sense of any person seeking refuge outside their own country including asylum seekers.
CRC Preamble: ‘… the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.’ (UN General Assembly 1989).
Children are developing. They grow in developmental sequences, like a tower of bricks, each layer depending on the one below it. Serious delays interrupting these sequences can severely disrupt development UNHCR (1994, p. 1). Refugee Children: Guidelines on Protection and Care.
In this section, for clarity, we use square brackets to reference individual CRC articles.
UNHCR Press briefing notes on Egypt, the United States, and Ethiopia, 5 June 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23174&LangID=E.
CRC Article 37(a) ‘No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’
England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions. BF (Eritrea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 872;  WLR (D) 300.
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Lawrence, J.A.; Dodds, A.E.; Kaplan, I.; Tucci, M.M. The Rights of Refugee Children and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Laws 2019, 8, 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030020
Lawrence JA, Dodds AE, Kaplan I, Tucci MM. The Rights of Refugee Children and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Laws. 2019; 8(3):20. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030020Chicago/Turabian Style
Lawrence, Jeanette A., Agnes E. Dodds, Ida Kaplan, and Maria M. Tucci. 2019. "The Rights of Refugee Children and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child" Laws 8, no. 3: 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws8030020