Joseph Varughese “A child is a child. Full stop!

“A child is a child. Full stop!

He is the Director-General of the Humanitarian Organisation “Hope For Children” UNCRC Policy Center , and he is responsible for the daily operation of the org. internationally. He has a BA in Philosophy and (B.Ed), MA in Social Work & Masters on IR.

The extraordinary EU Council Justice and Home Affairs had a meeting in Brussels, where the German Government decided to close its border with Austria and as a consequence, to “breach Schengen” few weeks after “breaching Dublin”. ”Dublin” and now “Shengen” have been de facto breached. The Hungarian government is also closing its border with Serbia by terminating its “border wall” by the 25 of September.  

According to Raffaele K. Salinari, Chair of TDH International Federation, today will be a crucial day, if the extraordinary EU Council Justice and Home Affairs, decides not to adopt a European inclusive migration and asylum plan. This decision will result in possible drawbacks of globalization, including migration and will inhibit the integration of children and youth migrants in European societies.  

The conclusions of the EU Council Justice and Home Affairs, held on the 14th of September, have only been released by the Presidency of the European Council, not from the EU Council Justice and Home Affairs Ministers. This shows that no formal agreement among EU Member States has been taken on these issues. Unfortunately, we observe the lack of a European solution. The priority was set on external border controls and on returns that might cause higher risks of violence and violation of rights for children.

Children trying to escape war, violence and poverty die, by traveling unaccompanied by adults, and experiencing horrific situations such starvation, unsanitary conditions, physical and sexual abuse. They try to seek shelter in a region unable to ensure their protection and fulfil their basic humanitarian obligations, and instead they face the closed borders of European states.

"Hope For Children" UNCRC Policy Center, as regional partner of the Destination Unknown Campaign in Europe which focuses on the protection of children on the move, unaccompanied children and refugees, reaffirms its support to Terre des Hommes (TDH) who is leading the Campaign.

Ignacio Packer, Secretary General of the TDH International Federation, mentioned that as an International Humanitarian NGO specialized on protecting children on the move, the Federation recalls the responsibilities of European political leaders, governments and authorities in Europe as well as in the Middle-East and North Africa, in a Euro-Mediterranean approach.

They urge the EU and its Members States to:

1.      Save the life of migrant and refugee children and their families by establishing safe and legal ’humanitarian corridors’ from the departure countries.

2.      Deliver international protection to all migrant and refugee children in Europe regardless their migration status, nationality, religion, origin or religion.

3.      Ensure international protection measures be based on the views and consent of children, be they unaccompanied or with their families.

4.      Support integration paths of migrant and refugee children in host countries by considering integration as an investment today for tomorrow’s for host society.

5.      Stop violence against migrant and refugee children through accelerated return procedures to the so called “safe countries”, building fences denying access to EU territory which are de facto a refoulement, detention and use of coercion in fingerprinting process in case of refusal by the child.

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