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‘Children on the move: Children First’: the intense story of migrant children

The European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) released the documentary 'Children on the move: Children First!', which gives a say to migrant children who explain the reasons for leaving their home countries and tell the story of their journey to Europe.

The 'violence' of the trip, the appalling life conditions, the dangers and the threats they had to face during their long journey and upon their arrival in Europe are overwhelming testimonies expressed throughout the documentary. 'We were not allowed to bring any food or water on the boat. But when we were on the boat, there was not enough water for everyone. Only the women and children were allowed to drink', said 'Preggio', who did not want to give his real name.

The documentary reflects the sad reality, difficulties and challenges, hopes and dreams of the children. Their message is clear: notwithstanding their country of origin or their 'migrant' background, they all have the same rights as any other children who were born in the countries where they are seeking asylum or refugee status; and they all have the right to look for a better future. But having rights and being able to uphold them are two very different things, as Albert Pares Casanova, a social lawyer, explains in the documentary. The heavy administrative burden and the fact that no one informs the children about their rights make it very hard for migrant children to enjoy these rights.

People from several NGOs, such as Maria Kaldani from SCEP partner Arsis, explain that they try to help the children where possible, but it is clear from the documentary that a lot more needs to be done.

See for more info: http://www.crin.org/enoc/resources/infoDetail.asp?id=31870
Watch the trailer below or at Vimeo.

Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP) - coordinated by Defence for Children The Netherlands - PO BOX 11103 - 2301 EC - Leiden - 0031 (0)71 516 09 80 - info@scepnetwork.org