What challenges does the situation of migrant children pose?

January 27, 2020
Communications Colunga Foundation

In a meeting together with the Director of the Specialization in Migration and Asylum from a Human Rights perspective of the National University of Lanús, Pablo Ceriani, various representatives of civil society organizations met, working on issues related to migrant children.

We rescue the reflections of some of these participants, regarding the current challenges facing the country in childhood and migration:

José Tomás Vicuña, National Director of Jesuit Migrant Service:

“It is important not to stay at the borders to analyze the situation of childhood, but also to see it in the city, far beyond the school. In general, children are subjects of charity rather than rights. The challenge is how to go from that charitable subject to a subject of rights. Childhood in Chile is invisible. We must achieve something called the spirituality of bamboo, because bamboo is firm but flexible. The law should be firm but flexible because the immigration reality is dynamic. ”

Delfina Lawson, Protection Officer in UNHCR for the South of Latin America:

“Relieve the value of strategic litigation. If there is something that was working during the last years, it was the role of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, in a battery of access to the rights of migrants. From nationality, with the Chile Recognize project, to stop expulsions when children are involved. The courts are the ones that bring to light the best interest of the child. I think it is something that must be explored over the next few years, fundamentally in relation to the separation of families. ”

Nicolás Mirror, Lawyer and Human Rights Advisor of United Nations General Secretariat:

“There is the strategic litigation that the clinics do, but there is also the counterpart of the Judiciary, which can protocolize the way in which the system responds to cases. I believe that judges are quite lost in protection matters, technical advisors do not understand what intercultural relevance means in the treatment of a protection measure ”.

Catalina Droppelmann, Executive Director of the Justice and Society Studies Center of the Catholic University

“One of the biggest challenges and what we are betting on is the generation of information and data, to break down certain key prejudices that exist, in terms of racism and rather folkloric beliefs about what it means to be a migrant child. We believe that the generation of data, through the study we are doing in conjunction with Colunga, will allow us to put hard data on the table to have reality criteria, against which to contrast the real barriers that exist in migrant children, regarding access to social protection mechanisms ”.

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