Today marks one year on from the European Commission's Communication on children in migration (see press release and factsheet). Since April 2017, many of the actions laid out in the Communication have been implemented by the Commission and Member States, including for example the appointment and training of child protection teams in hotspots in Greece, stepped-up support to Italy by the European Asylum Support Office in implementing child protection legislation, or the establishment of a European network on guardianship for children in migration.
In addition, the reform of the Common European Asylum System will further strengthen the protection and rights of children in migration, once co-legislators adopt the Commission's proposals. Commissioner Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said:
"In 2017, 160 000 asylum applications were lodged by children. Many of these children are unaccompanied and have no family to support and care for them, and so we must step up and provide the protection they desperately need. We are making progress and will continue to strive for respect of children's rights." Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos added "Children who migrate are particularly vulnerable. It is our duty to ensure they are protected throughout their journey. This is why we have been stepping up our actions to address children's needs at all stages of migration."
While significant progress has been made, a number of challenges remain and the Commission encourages all actors involved to continue their efforts to reinforce the protection of children in migration. The implementation of the Communication will continue and the next technical meeting with Member State authorities will take place on 1 June 2018. More information on progress made and the current state of play is available in the Commission's last progress report on the European Agenda on migration and on the page on children in migration.