Report by Nils Muiznieks Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Following his visit to Denmark from 19 to 21 November 2013


Date of publication:  24 Mar 2014 Authors:  Nils Muiznieks Publisher:  Council of Europe Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

Excerpts from the Summary – pertaining to children: The Commissioner is concerned that considerations relating to migration control tend to have primacy over the best interests of the child in actions and decisions affecting children in the context of asylum and immigration. The Commissioner is alarmed at the impact that life in asylum centres for indefinite periods of time has on children belonging to families of rejected asylum-seekers whose deportation order cannot be implemented. Unaccompanied minor migrants are in a highly vulnerable position. The Danish authorities are called upon to improve their age determination procedures and effectively investigate the fate of unaccompanied minor migrants who have disappeared from reception centres. A child-sensitive approach to asylum should be in place to allow for any protection needs of children as a specific social group to be identified. In the Commissioner’s opinion, the detention of minors for asylum and immigration purposes should not be allowed and should be replaced with appropriate care arrangements. Lastly, when taking return decisions affecting families, the authorities should treat the best interests of the child as a primary consideration.

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