31 March 2020
Due to the coronavirus, we are facing an enormous challenge in Europe and the rest of the world. The measures taken in response to the coronavirus in various European Member States also have implications for the activities of the European Children’s Rights Helpdesk, a project funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
Legal assistance for children on the move
The offices of our project partners in Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Italy and Greece are closed in the fight against the Coronavirus. However, the lawyers working for our partner organizations continue to provide legal support to children on the move. They work via phone and e-mail. While some organizations expect a drop in the number of cases as courts are closed and residence procedures suspended, other organizations anticipate an increase in the number of children with a request for legal assistance. In Greece, for example, many refugee children do not have access to medical facilities and in Belgium, unaccompanied minor boys between 16 and 18 years old do no longer have access to reception facilities.
Advocacy and knowledge exchange
In every European Member State, all kinds of measures are being taken. These measures also affect the rights of refugee and migrant children. The rights of these children are under pressure because of the current situation. Together with our project partners, we will keep an eye on the situation and bring violations of children’s rights to the attention of politicians and policymakers at both national and European level. In addition, in the coming period the activities of the European Helpdesk will focus on knowledge exchange. Together we stand stronger and together we can ensure that the rights of children on the move are respected, even in times of crisis.