10 April 2024 - Global

STATEMENT: New Migration & Asylum Pact will drastically undermine children’s rights in Europe – Save the Children

Statement template for statement on EU migration pact

BRUSSELS 10 April 2024 – Today’s decision by the European Union and its Member States to pass the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum will significantly weaken protections for children fleeing war, hunger and death, Save the Children said.

Not only will today’s outcome undermine children and families’ right to asylum in Europe, it will put them at risk of detention, pushbacks and destitution at borders. 

Willy Bergogné, Save the Children Europe’s Director and EU Representative said: 

“Today’s decision could not have been worse for children and their families seeking refuge in Europe. It’s clear that the European Parliament and its EU Member States have prioritised restricting access to Europe over the urgent protection of vulnerable children escaping conflict, persecution, hunger, forced marriages and extreme poverty.  

“Now, all families, even those travelling with very small children, could end up spending weeks or months in detention centres. These children should be at school, making happy memories – not painful ones in detention centres that will no doubt impact them for years to come. 

“All children arriving in Europe deserve to meet a system that recognises their needs, treats them with compassion and dignity, and protects them from harm. Sadly, these rules could end up exacerbating the suffering and the distress of thousands of children in need of protection.  

“Save the Children remains committed to children and families on the move, making sure that their needs are met, and rights are respected, and will continue to provide crucial support across Europe. The role of organisations like ours becomes more important than ever, as child rights are put at risk by restrictive policies that fail to address the most important shortcomings of the current asylum system.”

 Save the Children is calling on the authorities in charge of implementing the EU Pact on Migration & Asylum to prioritise the protection of children and take steps to address and minimise any risks that could harm their rights.  

The decisions made by national authorities regarding border procedures, child protection measures, and monitoring systems will make a major difference in the lives and wellbeing of children and families seeking safety in Europe. 



For further enquiries please contact:

Save the Children’s Global Media Unit at GMU@savethechildren.org

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