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Accompanying the Unaccompanied Children towards Adulthood. In the Direction of an Holistic Approach to the Phenomenon of Children Migrations
After having briefly presented which are the guarantees that the international human rights law provides for unaccompanied minors, the aim of this contribution is to understand the effectiveness of these rights. The topic that I have analysed – immigration and children – lives in fact, in tension between two opposite forces: legal commitments and political will, sein and sollen.
Notwithstanding the fact that European states have ratified the numerous international instruments and have accepted the several good practices that have been developed on the subject, one might wonder why its concrete application appears still unpredictable.
An argument that might be raised by states, in order to justify this failure of application, relates to the pragmatic field of resources.
Through a cases-study approach, based on the experiences of the Veneto Children Ombudsman (Italy) and of the non-governamental organisation Arsis-Terre des Hommes (Greece) evidence has been brought to demolish this strong point of defence. Special attention has been paid to the aspect of legal representation/guardianship of the child because – in my perspective – it represents the «hinge» to guarantee children rights. The holistic approach that has been proposed to cope with unaccompanied children’s rights wishes that every policy should no longer be considered as just in itself but as part of a system where everything is interconnected and interdependent in order to be both principled and sufficiently flexible and extensive to deal with the individuality of the child and the local circumstances.