Portal:Transnational child protection

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The transnational child protection portal

Transnational child protection

Transnational child protection refers to the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect in an international setting. When a non-national child comes into contact with public authorities and service providers, a series of checks, assessments and immediate measures sets in to identify the child and to assess her or his situation. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of children in and out of the home, including in their country of origin, residence or a third country. Article 2 of the Convention provides for the right to non-discrimination, meaning children have the right to protection regardless of the national origin or status of the child or his or her parents or legal guardians.

A child may become party to a transnational child protection case because of a need for protection, including: due to international adoption, being born to parents with different or multiple nationalities, being born in a different country than either parent's nationality, and migrating or being trafficked. Being an unaccompanied or separated minor comes with particular challenges.


Transnational Child Protection Portal logo.svg

The Transnational Child Protection Portal offers a platform for sharing information, knowledge, and expertise among all those involved in safeguarding children in cross-border situations. It offers an overview about tools, internationally recognised and endorsed approaches and methods, as well as institutions and contacts in different countries. The platform will evolve when more and more institutions, services and professionals take part in sharing their expertise.

Whether at home or on the move, children have the right to grow up free from violence and to be protected from exploitation, abuse, neglect and maltreatment (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19). Under international, regional and national law, states are obliged to ensure children’s safety and well-being and to promote their development. These rights apply to all children, regardless of their national origin or immigration status (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 2). States also have a duty to support parents and legal guardians in their child rearing roles and responsibilities (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 18).

International migration is increasingly challenging immigration procedures and causes strain on states, service providers, communities and societies in countries of origin and destination. Migration authorities, law enforcement, child protection services, outreach or emergency services, care staff, guardians and legal representatives and the judiciary as well as volunteers are usually involved.

In order to safeguard children on the move, state authorities and service providers often need to work across borders. This requires a good network of contacts, effective transnational communication and procedures for case assessments, referral and service provision. When a child migrates across borders, or has ties to more than one country, it can be difficult for service providers and authorities to ensure the child’s safety and development. There are many challenges involved, such as communicating effectively with the child, including through interpretation and cultural mediation, gathering information from the child’s home community, understanding the situation, aspirations and needs of the child and the quality of the child’s relation to family members. When children are separated from their parents, have been exposed to violence or neglect, or when they are at risk, the objective of all assessments is to identify a durable solution that is in the best interests of the girl or boy concerned.

This portal is a work in progress. Constructive contributions are welcome and encouraged.


Children’s mobility, human rights and development International standards and safeguards
concerning children on the move
Child rights principles relating to children on the move

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Children and justice in transnational cases Transnational cooperation for the
implementation of durable solutions
International and European standards

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International actors EU actors National actors

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  • List of child protection or social services and private service providers and authorities by country
  • List of embassies and consular offices by country
  • List of European Migration Network national contact points by country
  • List of immigration authorities by country
  • List of International Social Service national branches by country
  • List of national helplines
  • List of national rapporteurs on trafficking in human beings by country
  • List of ombudsoffices for Children by country

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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention on the Rights of the Child.svg
  Parties to the convention
  Only signed, but not ratified

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is at the core of the transnational protection of children.

The Convention is part of a larger body of international human rights law. It affords a broad set of rights for all persons under 18 years of age and is comprehensive as it combines social, economic and cultural rights with civil and political rights in a single treaty. The Convention promotes an empowering understanding of children as rights holders. It stipulates their human rights and the correlated legal obligations of states as well as obligations of parents and caregivers, public authorities, private service providers and the private sector. In addition to its legal relevance, the Convention has a programmatic character in that it guides policy makers and practitioners on how to safeguard children and promote their well-being, safety and development in a holistic way.

The Convention applies to all children within the jurisdiction of a state (Article 2). This includes children who are within the borders of a state, and those who come under the state’s jurisdiction while attempting to enter the country’s territory, for instance at borders or airports. In consequence, the rights under the Convention apply to all children on the move, regardless of the purpose or conditions of their movement for family reunification, travel, economic migration, asylum or trafficking.

The Convention provides standards for care and protection, identification, case management, reporting and referral. It affords children a right to education and training, access to social services, health care and treatment and provides for the right of girls and boys to develop their evolving capacities. Children who have been exposed to acts of violence, exploitation or abuse have a right to be recognised as victims of crime, to access assistance for recovery, rehabilitation and justice. This applies to child victims of trafficking and all other children who have been exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation in any form.

See also:

Selected article

Unaccompanied minor

An unaccompanied minor (sometimes "unaccompanied child" or "separated child" or more generally "unaccompanied children") is a child without the presence of a legal guardian.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child defines unaccompanied minors and unaccompanied children as those "who have been separated from both parents and other relatives and are not being cared for by an adult who, by law or custom, is responsible for doing so." The Committee defines separated children as those "who have been separated from both parents, or from their previous legal or customary primary care-giver, but not necessarily from other relatives. These may, therefore, include children accompanied by other adult family members.”

This term is used in immigration law and in airline policies. The specific definition varies from country to country and from airline to airline.

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Things to do

  • Suggest a new topic.
  • add our portal to the 'related portals' section of the portals this one is related to.
  • expand the exploitation page or create a new page on human exploitation which covers all forms, including trafficking, sexual, for criminality, etc.
  • create the lists of national authorities that are currently un-populated on the portal, including making wiki articles about the authority if missing.
  • expand the article on legal guardians to include the child-rights background information.
  • create an annotated list of the general comments and optional protocols of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, create wiki articles for those that do not already have one.
  • expand the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund, including links and more information about funded activities, and new wiki articles for substantial projects that warrant its own page.
  • add more pages about donors/funds for projects on the topic and the outcomes of said projects.
  • add wikilinks to the List of international and European law on child protection and migration.
  • create new highlighted articles.
  • create a new page defining child sensitive, or expand the page where it should be included.
  • fix the logo of the portal.
  • edit, update, and improve the sources on the core pages of this portal.

Key terms, definitions, and concepts

In the news

The European migrant crisis or European refugee crisis began in 2015, when a rising number of refugees and migrants made the journey to the European Union (EU) to seek asylum, traveling across the Mediterranean Sea or through Southeast Europe. They came from areas such as Western and South Asia, Africa, and the Western Balkans. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the top three nationalities of the over one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals in 2015 were Syrian (49%), Afghan (21%) and Iraqi (8%). Of the refugees and migrants arriving in Europe by sea in 2015, 58% were men, 17% women and 25% children.

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Sources for further reading and research


International publications

European publications

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Related Categories

About this portal's team

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This portal, along with relevant newly created or expanded articles, was initiated by a consortium of experts who assigned one person to execute the work. The planning, writing, editing and execution was partially funded by the European Commission's Return Fund. Further funding is being sought to expand the scope, further improve existing pages, and train a small community of experts in how to help build the portal.

Any bias towards the European situation is unintentional. All efforts to ensure the global situation is represented are warmly encouraged.

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






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