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Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Children: Interrupted Child Development and Unfulfilled Child Rights

1
School of Public Health and Social Policy, Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
2
Office of Child and Youth Advocate, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2019, 6(11), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/children6110120
Received: 22 August 2019 / Revised: 12 October 2019 / Accepted: 24 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
The 21st century phenomenon of “global displacement” is particularly concerning when it comes to children. Childhood is a critical period of accelerated growth and development. These processes can be negatively affected by the many stressors to which refugee and asylum-seeking children are subjected. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most ratified human rights treaty in history, with 196 States Parties (SPs). The CRC provides a framework of 54 articles outlining government responsibilities to ensure the protection, promotion, and fulfillment of rights of all children within their jurisdictions. Among these are the rights of refugee and asylum-seeking children, declared under Article 22 of the CRC. Refugee and asylum-seeking children, similarly to all other children, are entitled to their rights under the CRC and do not forgo any right by virtue of moving between borders. The hosting governments, as SPs to the CRC, are the primary duty bearers to fulfill these rights for the children entering their country. This manuscript provides an overview of the health and developmental ramification of being displaced for refugee and asylum-seeking children. Then, an in-depth analysis of the provisions under Article 22 is presented and the responsibilities of SPs under this article are described. The paper provides some international examples of strengths and shortcomings relating to these responsibilities and closes with a few concluding remarks and recommendations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Convention on the Rights of the Child; child rights; refugee; asylum-seeking children; child health; child development; Article 22 of the CRC; children on the move Convention on the Rights of the Child; child rights; refugee; asylum-seeking children; child health; child development; Article 22 of the CRC; children on the move
MDPI and ACS Style

Vaghri, Z.; Tessier, Z.; Whalen, C. Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Children: Interrupted Child Development and Unfulfilled Child Rights. Children 2019, 6, 120.

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