ICMC Europe endorses recommendations to better protect children in migration


On 26 and 27 January 2017, Missing Children Europe joined hands with the Maltese President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society to host the "Lost in Migration" conference, inviting key stakeholders concerned with the protection of migrant children’s rights across Europe.

The event featured high level speakers, including H.E. Maria Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta; Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and President of Missing Children Europe; Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship; Carmelo Abela, the Maltese Interior Minister on behalf of the Maltese Presidency of the EU; Rob Wainwright, the Director of Europol; Jose Carreira, the Director of EASO, high level representatives from UNICEF, UNHCR and IOM and, Members of the European Parliament, Hilde Vautmans and Caterina Chinnici.

In addition to panel discussions, the event featured testimonies from young adults who arrived as unaccompanied children in Malta, a “living library” bringing stories and expertise from Italy, Greece, Belgium and Germany, workshops organised by frontline professionals and the screening of the film “Kakuma”. A debriefing will also be organised with the youth who spoke about their migrant journeys to provide them with an opportunity to give feedback on the session. The event was preceded by the launch of a blog collecting articles on the analysis of specific protection challenges and stories from the field.

At the conference, 160 professionals took stock of the situation and the current challenges of this children rights crisis. Based on the discussions, research, expertise and recommendations put forward by stakeholders at the “Lost in migration” conference, including the findings of the SUMMIT report on missing migrant children, the conference developed forward looking operational and policy recommendations to policy makers. The conference also addressed the need for a comprehensive child protection approach to effectively prevent and respond to disappearance.

The conference conclusions, including 10 operational and policy recommendations and 7 cross-cutting recommendations on the overall policy framework, data and funding, have just been endorsed by MADE Europe Chapter coordinator ICMC Europe among numerous civil society, NGOs, international organisations, politicians and academics.These recommendations will be sent to EU ministers on the 22 February.