Discriminatory laws against the protection of refugee children

Just picture a young girl who is about 12 years old and has to walk a long way to get her family some water. She lives in a refugee camp in the farthest reaches of East Africa and is constantly concerned about being abused by powerful men in the area. Violence against young children and sexual assault are all far too common in refugee camps. Millions of kids are moving around. Conflict, poverty, or the effects of climate change force some to flee their homes; Others leave in the hope of better opportunities. On their journeys, at their destinations, and upon their return, far too many encounter danger, detention, deprivation, and discrimination. This need not be the case. Migrant and displaced children’s suffering and exclusion is not only unacceptable but also preventable. No matter why a child leaves home, where they come from, where they are, or how they got there, they are still a child. Every child has a right to safety, care, and all the services and support they need to be an active member of society. 

In the past four years, the number of refugees in the Middle East and North Africa has doubled. Children of refugees in the region suffer greatly from conflict and displacement. Conflict, devastation, and violence frequently have resulted in injuries or deaths for children. Refugee children may find safety in neighboring nations, but they may also encounter uncertainty and day-to-day struggles that are upsetting for the children and their families. Children are more likely to be involved in child marriages, work before the legal age or in dangerous and exploitative conditions, drop out of school, or face violence in their homes, communities, or schools when they are separated from family members, have difficulty obtaining basic services, and live in greater poverty. During their displacement, they also run the risk of being detained, being trafficked, and being exploited in other ways.

However, migrant and displaced children frequently face numerous obstacles while traveling, at their destination, and upon their return. This is typically the case due to the fact that they have few, if any, options to move through regular, safe routes, whether they are traveling alone or with their families. They may be subjected to aggravated smuggling, forced labor as children, forced early marriage, human trafficking, and other forms of exploitation and violence or. They frequently lack access to quality medical care and education, and they struggle to settle into their new communities; It can be especially challenging to try to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture. Children who are constantly moving may not be able to realize their full potential because of these challenges, which can have long-lasting effects on their physical and mental health.

Current Discriminatory Laws

Every child has the right to be registered at birth and to have a name, a nationality, and an identity. Each child is recognized by the laws in place as an individual equally deserving of respect, dignity, honor, and self-respect. Internal policies are the source of more discrimination against refugee children than against children living in the state. States must ensure the survival and development of refugee children to the greatest extent possible; safeguard their dignity, beliefs, and identities; and tailor education to their growth and preparation for civic participation. Refugee children should be able to do more with these rights than just survive. The well-being of refugee children and their right to participate fully in the society in which they live must be fundamentally anchored.

Children of refugees have the right to be cared for by their parents in families where they are not subject to arbitrary or illegal interference. The “conditions of living necessary for the child’s development” and the child’s best interests are the primary duties of parents. Refugee children have the right to information, access, regular contact, and family reunification if their parents divorce. Given their centrality to the protection debate, refugee children cannot be conceptualized as beneficiaries of discretionary national benevolence welfare programs. Instead, states should provide culturally consistent foster care or adoption. 

Most of the children who flee their homes come from impoverished nations with unstable law and order systems. They lose family members at times as a result of calamities that occurred while they were traveling. Through a sophisticated system of background checks, the states where they intend to settle ensure that these children are in good hands after being adopted. It becomes difficult for both parents and children who are adopted into a household with diverse cultural and ethnic beliefs; the children and their families. Moreover, children who are traveling by themselves or who have been cut off from their families are more likely to be targeted and are more likely to be the victims of violence and abuse. 

Lastly, two articles place children from disadvantaged backgrounds on an equal footing with all others by focusing on children from refugee backgrounds and children with disabilities. Children, whose refugee status may be used to treat them as “alien others” and exclude them from domestic recognition and protection or to discriminate against them as more or less deserving, benefit especially from this inclusive status.

What needs to be changed?

States are required by their agreements and procedural justice to provide the legal and social support necessary to assist children’s progress through their systems, despite the fact that refugee children may not be well-positioned to make public claims of their rights in national immigration and legal systems. Today, millions of these children continue to cross state borders in search of entry and safety. Many are turned down, while others are made to feel invisible or are viewed with suspicion as false or numerous petitioners. In refugee camps, we provide essential humanitarian supplies that save lives. We intend to create child-friendly spaces, which are secure locations where children who are on the move can play, where mothers can unwind and privately feed their children, and where separated families can come together.

Children ought to be able to live with their families and be protected from violence. They shouldn’t be afraid to go to the doctor or have to miss school. They should not be subjected to discrimination based on where they come from. They ought to be able to feel at home no matter where they are or what their home is. We have put in a lot of effort to save the lives of refugees, increase access to high-quality healthcare and education, and safeguard children from exploitation. Our compassionate staff assists refugee children in obtaining an education and accessing all of life’s essentials, including water, food, and shelter, whether they are in camps, on the move, or in their host communities.