L America lacks policies to protect migrant children: ECLAC

18:14, November 06, 2010      

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Latin American and the Caribbean nations do not have migratory policies to protect migrant children's rights, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said on Friday.

According to a report published by the ECLAC and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), about 6 million people have emigrated to another country in the region, and 25 million have gone to the United States or Europe. Among these people, one of five is a child or an adolescent.

UNICEF experts said migration brings benefits to some people, however, many children are being exposed to risks, such as abuses, exploitation and violation of their human rights.

Experts Rut Feuk, Nadine Perrault and Enrique Delamonica said millions of the minors are suffering from severe restrictions to their human rights, and migration has affected them no matter whether they have migrated together with their parents, by themselves or are left behind by one or both of their parents.

Migration's impact on minors must be analyzed in the most extended context of poverty and inequality, the experts said.

The report said that migratory restrictive policies, xenophobia, discrimination and human traffic are some of the main risks faced by the immigrants, mainly the undocumented.

Children who migrate to other countries with their parents, or those who receive economic aid by remittances sent by their parents, could have better development opportunities regarding health, education and psycho-social adaptation.

Governments should provide children with identity at the moment of their birth and avoid detaining children and adolescents who illegally enter other countries, the ECLAC and the UNICEF suggested.

Governments should also boost the positive effects of migration by avoiding taxing remittances, adopting measures to ease remittance transactions, and exploring international cooperation to fulfill the economic obligation of parents with children living in other countries.

National laws should be enacted to include measures and policies for protecting the social, economic and cultural rights of the migrant children, the ECLAC and the UNICEF said.



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