Panel Discussion on Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents and Human Rights

Panel Discussion on Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents and Human Rights

Friday, June 9, 2017

U.S. Statement as Delivered by Kathryn Keeley

Thank you for organizing this timely and important panel.  The United States views the upcoming UN negotiation of the global migration compact as an opportunity to develop practical voluntary commitments to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration and to improve assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations, including unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents, who are at greater risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.

Unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents are an inherently vulnerable group.  They have undertaken a dangerous, international journey – on a boat, train, bus, plane, or even on foot – on their own, without their parents.   In many cases, they have left their home countries in search of protection.

We therefore encourage countries of transit and destination to share best practices on identifying and responding to the needs of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents, particularly victims of trafficking in persons.

We also encourage states to share best practices on assisting children who are repatriated to their countries of origin, including screening for indicators of human trafficking and providing services to facilitate family reunification and promoting their reintegration.

States should establish measures to identify and respond to the special needs of young migrants, including unaccompanied children, and those who have been subjected to forced labor or sex trafficking, including children conscripted by armed groups.

Thank you Mr. President.