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24 June 2016
The members of the Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP) regret the fact that the UK has voted to leave the European Union. SCEP is concerned about the consequences for children on the move, including separated children, and calls for the rights of the child to be central in the negotiations about the Brexit.
Children's rights should be central
As signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, the UK and the rest of the EU governments are obliged to respect the rights of the child as laid down in the Convention. The needs and rights of children on the move, including separated children, must be the primary consideration during the negotiations about the Brexit. Formal procedures, safeguards and agreed criteria on the issue of children on the move should be established between the UK and the European Union in order to ensure that the rights of these children are still respected.
Right to participation
Without the meaningful involvement of children and young people in decision-making, governments will not be able to respond to the individual needs of children and ultimately uphold their obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil children's rights. Therefore, children on the move should be involved in the decision-making with regard to the Brexit.