Letter: Suffer the children
Letter to the editor of the Economist:
Dear Sir or Madam,
It is not only a humanitarian imperative to help unaccompanied child migrants who arrive in Europe (“Under-age and at risk”, May 7th). European states also have a legal obligation to do so, having ratified the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every child has a right to adequate shelter, to a caregiver and to an education. It is shameful that many of the world’s richest countries, which see themselves as the cradle of human rights, deny children those very rights.
The children who arrive in Europe without their parents have fled their homes in fear of their lives. They have entrusted themselves to gangs of smugglers and put themselves at risk of abuse and child labour. With borders closing around them, some are trapped in Serbia and Macedonia, with no way forward and no way back. Many have been illegally detained in Greece.
We all need to see those children for what they are: not as migrants, financial burdens or threats to society but as children in need of protection. They have rights and they deserve to be given a future.
Terre des hommes
You'll find the full letter here.