Document Type : Article


1 Assistant Prof., Department of International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Allameh Tabataba'i, Tehran, Iran

2 MA. in International Law, Faculty of Humanities, Tehran North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The right to seek asylum recognized as a fundamental human right, encompasses international protection of people seeking asylum. Protection of children's right to asylum, particularly for unaccompanied minors (UAMs) who are at risk of several physical and psychological problems on the forced migration route, is one of the challenging issues. This paper attempts to answer this question that to what extent international refugee law and European refugee law are providing international protection for unaccompanied and separated refugee children? In this study, the rights of asylum-seeking children and particularly their right to family reunification have been examined according to international documents. Further, it deals with recent European Union instruments concerning legalization of protection of UAMs and affirmation of the family reunion right to represent the UAMs best interest principle. Children as the most vulnerable group of refugees are known to be half of the global refugee population, whom never has been included sufficiently in the International Refugee Law instruments. Thus, there is no comprehensive international binding instrument for their protection yet and there is no official definition for UAMs in biding international instruments. Therefore, legislating a comprehensive international convention about their protection is necessary.


1. فارسی
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2. انگلیسی
A) Books
1. Abou- El-Wafa, Ahmed, (2010), The Right to Asylum between Islamic Shari'ah and International Refugee Law: A Comparative Study, Translated: Sibouye, Ali, Tehran, Ketabsara Publication (In Persian).
B) Articles
2. Ahmadinejad, Maryam & Aminroaya, Yaser & GanjBakhsh, Mahmoud, (2016), “Tradition and Modern Slavery in International Law and Islamic Opinion with Regard to the Condition of Women and Children”, Comparative Law Review, Volume 7, Issue 1 Winter and Spring, Pages 23-52 (In Persian).
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4. Digidiki, Vasileia & Bhabha, Jacqueline (2017), “Emergency within an Emergency, the Growing Epidemic of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Children in Greece", FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University.
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6. Manca, di Luigino (2018), "Family Reunification in International Law: The Current United Nations Legal Framework and the Practice of Human Rights Bodies", Anticipazioni al, Number. 2, p.p 1-23.
7. Mokhtarzade, Saeede (2015), “The European Legal System for Protecting Refugees with Concentrating on Women and Children”, Master degree thesis, Supervised by Dr. Mehryar Dashab, Islamic Azad University (Tehran North Branch) (In Persian).
8. Mosaffa, Nasrin & Mokhtarzade, Saeedeh (2016), “An Investigation on Legal Protection for Women Victims of Climate Change; Studying African Regional Documents”, The Journal of Human Rights, Volume 11, Issue 1, Serial Number 21, Pages 21-44 (In Persian).
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C) Working papers and documents
12. Eurostat report (2018), Asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors, (84/2018, 16 May 2018).
13. The European Migration Network Synthesis Report (2015), Policies, practices and data on unaccompanied minors in the EU Member States and Norway.
14. UNHCR, UNICEF and IOM factsheet report (2017), Overview on Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe.
15. UNHCR Global Trends (2017), Forced Displacement in 2017.
16. UNHCR third annual education report (2017), Turn the Tide: Refugee Education in Crisis.
17. UNHCR Guidelines (2008), Determining the Best Interests of the Child.
18. UNHCR Guidelines (2002), Gender-Related Persecution.
19. UNHCR Handbook (2008), Protection of Women and Girls.
20. UNODC Toolkit (2003), To combat Trafficking in Person.
D) International Treaties and Other Instruments
21. Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, July 28, 1951.
22. Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, September 28, 1954.
23. Council Directive on the Right to Family Reunification - 2003/86/EC - 22 September 2003.
24. European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), November 4, 1950.
25. Human Rights Council resolution on Unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents and human rights, A/HRC/RES/36/5, 28 Sep 2017.
26. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, December 12, 2000.
27. Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, December 12, 2000.
28. Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 Of The European Parliament And Of The Council - 26 June 2013 - establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (recast) [Dublin III].
29. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, November 20, 1989.
30. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, November 15, 2000.
31. The Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, A/RES/54/263 of 25 May 2000.
32. UN Committee of the CRC published General Comment No. 6 on "the Treatment of Unaccompanied and Separated Children outside Their Country of Origin", CRC/GC/2005/6, 1 Sep 2005.
33. UNHCR Executive Committee (ExCom), Conclusion on Family Reunion, No. 9 (XXVIII) -1977.
34. UNHCR Executive Committee (ExCom), Conclusion on Family Reunion, No. 24 (XXXII) -1981.
35. The European Parliament and The Council Directive on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (Recast) of 13 December 2011, Directive 2011/95/EU.
E) Websites
36. (International Organization for Migration Website)
38. (European Commission, EU Statistic Website)
39. (The UN Refugee Agency)
40. (Forced Displacement in 2017)