Recently two studies came out on the treatment of unaccompanied minors asking for asylum in Europe. UNICEF’s report on the Judicial implementation of Art. 3 of the CRC in Europe: The case of migrant children including unaccompanied children (www.statewatch.org/news/2012/nov/rights-the-child-in-europe.pdf). Another report on the Right to asylum for unaccompanied minors in the European Union was published in September 2012. It aims to highlight standards and practices to improve knowledge on the right to asylum for unaccompanied children in Europe. The report notes that foreign unaccompanied minors without legal representation are present in the 27 countries of the European Union (http://helsinki.hu/wp-content/uploads/MI-AN-consolid%C3%A9-web.pdf).
Like adult asylum seekers, most of these young people fled conflict and persecution in their countries of origin: recruitment of minors, trafficking of children for prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, child labor- these are some of the reasons why these children are seeking asylum and protection in Europe. The European Union is highly affected by this issue as it currently hosts about 74% of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.