MCP policy and research

Policy & research on migrant children's rights

Policy advocacy

The strength of the Migrant Children’s Project (MCP) is its comprehensive approach to changing law, policy and practice through training to frontline professionals, legal advice and representation, strategic litigation and policy advocacy to ensure the best outcomes for migrant children. It is the interplay between the different areas covered that we believe allows for systemic change and the greatest impact.

In addition to the MCP’s capacity-building and awareness-raising work directly with practitioners and professionals, it seeks to use research and policy advocacy, combining specialist technical knowledge about the domestic and international law with evidence from frontline work, to ensure children’s rights are embedded in law and in practice. It does this through: 

  • Research reports, highlighting legal issues faced by young refugees and migrants 
  • Providing evidence and recommendations to central government through consultation responses, select committee inquiries and direct engagement with parliamentarians
  • Ongoing high-level engagement with civil servants in the Home Office, Department for Education and Ministry of Justice
  • Strategic litigation 

Coram Children's Legal Centre co-chairs the Refugee Children's Consortium, a group of non-governmental organisations working collaboratively to ensure that the rights and needs of refugee children are respected in accordance with relevant domestic, regional and international standards.

The Migrant Children's Project team also contributes to CCLC's wider policy work on promoting the implementation of children's rights in the UK, including producing policy reports and briefings, responses to government consultations and submissions to domestic and international bodies on children's rights issues.

Recent reports

Growing Up In A Hostile Environment: The rights of undocumented migrant children in the UK

Drawing on the work of Coram Children’s Legal Centre through its Migrant Children’s Project advice line, outreach services and legal casework, this new report examines the ways in which lack of immigration status is an obstacle to children and young people accessing their basic rights and entitlements and the difficulties this group face in obtaining essential legal advice and regularising their status. This circular problem, where ‘unreturnable’ children and young people are left in precarious situations but the current asylum and immigration system does not sufficiently allow for them to resolve their immigration status, is one that must be addressed with great urgency if the UK is to fulfil its legal obligations towards children. Published November 2013.

Full report
Report summary

Happy Birthday? Disputing the age of children in the immigration system

Children who arrive alone in the UK are regularly disbelieved about how old they are and can spend many years without access to education or appropriate support, or end up in unsupervised accommodation with adults or in adult immigration detention centres. The only way to challenge this treatment is to pursue costly and protracted legal proceedings. This new report examines the age assessment process and the practical and emotional impact of age disputes on young people in the immigration system.

Children who arrive alone in the UK are regularly disbelieved about how old they are and can spend many years without access to education or appropriate support, or end up in unsupervised accommodation with adults or in adult immigration detention centres. The only way to challenge this treatment is to pursue costly and protracted legal proceedings. This new report examines the age assessment process and the practical and emotional impact of age disputes on young people in the immigration system. Published May 2013.

Full report
Report summary

Navigating the System: Advice provision for young refugees and migrants

This report by the Migrant Children's Project looks at the complex administrative and legal processes that separated children and young people have to navigate and the range of professionals who can offer advice and guidance to them. The report finds that many legal advice and support services are under strain, facing serious financial challenges and an uncertain future, putting these children and young people at risk. Published May 2012.

Full report
Report summary

 

 

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