“My parents sent me to Europe to find safety, but my journey to Europe was the most dangerous thing I have ever done”.

This is the experience of SK, one of the boys from the award-winning documentary Shadow Game. He travelled to Europe from Afghanistan as a child in the hope to find safety, but he was met with violence in Europe. On the 1st March, he addressed the LIBE Committee at the European Parliament to urge them to change their violent response to unaccompanied minors from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries at their borders.

Marc Dullaert, founder and chairman of KidsRights, explained to the LIBE Committee how the violent pushbacks against minors at the borders of Europe violate children’s rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He spoke of the violation of article 2 (the right to non-discrimination), article 19 (the right to be protected from violence), article 20 (the rights of children separated from their parents), article 22 (the rights of refugee children) and article 36 (the right to protection against exploitation).

“Currently 22,500 children are stuck at the border of Europe. These children are forced to enter Europe using dangerous routes as there are no safe or legal access points” said Marc Dullaert.

The response from members of the LIBE Committee was positive, they were both moved by the powerful account that SK gave about his journey to Europe and shocked by the statistics and children’s rights approach which Marc shared in his intervention. KidsRights hopes that as a result of continuous advocacy, the rights of children on the move will be upheld now and in the future.