In the context of the migration crisis, the number of child migrants arriving in Europe has increased significantly. In 2015 and 2016, 30 percent of asylum applicants in the EU were children.
As children in migration are exposed to high risks of violence, trafficking or exploitation along migration routes or may go missing, or become separated from their families, they require a specific protection. Children have the right to be protected, in line with relevant provisions of EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and with international law on the rights of the child. The child’s best interests must be the primary consideration in all actions or decisions concerning children.
Drawing on expertise from all relevant policy areas, the Commission is proposing a number of priority areas for Member States to focus on, supported by the Commission and EU Agencies, to improve the protection of children in migration and ensure a closer link between the asylum and child protection services.