Aspects of the protection of migrant children’s rights… 119
2. Children and Migration in the European Union Law
In the course of history it has been observed that migration in general had
been one of the most dramatic events. If in 1965 there were 75 million migrants, in
2014 their number reached around 200 million worldwide3.
In the present age when Europe is confronted with unprecedented massive
immigration numerous problems occur related to the rights of children who arrive
on our continent, specifically in the Member States of the European Union,
accompanied by their parents or by other persons, or unaccompanied, requesting
international protection under the Geneva Convention on refugees of 19514 or in
accordance with the regulations of the Council of Europe or of the European
In accordance with Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,
Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the public
and private authorities must show particular interest to children and take into
account their vulnerability when seeking asylum or are in a situation of
irregularity, whether or not accompanied by their parents.
We remind that generally speaking, migrants are people who move from the
county where they live or whose nationals they are to another country. The
motivation for such radical decision may be economic, educational, political, etc.
They could leave their country to escape persecutions, abuses against their
fundamental rights or as a result of threatening against their lives or physical
integrity generated by a conflict/war situation. Some of them would seek asylum.
Terminologically, the word asylum, is Latin coming from the Greek word asilon
derived from a form of the adjective asylos (inviolable). Asylos, in its turn, comes
from two words: a (no) and syle (to catch/to arrest). This induces the idea that
”asylum” means ”not to be caught” or ”not to be arrested”, which involves
”protection against prosecution”, ”escape place”, „shelter”, ”refugee”. According
to the doctrine, the notion of ”asylum” would rather include certain places, areas
or territories, where a person cannot be arrested as a result of the fact that the
respective area is protected by a national force. The Geneva Convention of 1951
defines in its article 1 paragraph 2 the term of refugee as follows: As a result of
events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted
for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political
opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is
unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality
3 See Jean-Yves Carlier, Marie-Claire Foblets, Migration and Law, General report to IACL Congress,
Vienna, 2014, p. 8.
4 See Henry Oberdorff, Droits de l´homme et libertés fondamentaux, L.G.D.J., Paris, 2010, p. 361-362;
F. Newman, D. Weissbrodt, Selected International Human Rights Isntruments, Anderson Publishing
Co/Concinati, p. 48.
5 See Irina Moroianu Zlatescu, Human Rights…, cit. supra, p.145-172.