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National Legal Center for Immigrants

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

B. THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD AND THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES

 As a preliminary matter, a brief introduction to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is provided.  This treaty and bodies speak to the rights of UASC.

 

1. The Convention on the Rights of the Child

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

A.  INTRODUCTION

The international materials discussed in this section include:

§  The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989);

§  The Committee on the Rights of the Child: General Comment No. 6 on Treatment of Unaccompanied and Separated Children Outside Their Country of Origin (2005);

§  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Executive Committee Conclusion No. 107 on Children at Risk (2007);

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

II.  Main Sources of International Law and Commentary

A.  Introduction

The international materials discussed in this section include:

§  The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989);

§  The Committee on the Rights of the Child: General Comment No. 6 on Treatment of Unaccompanied and Separated Children Outside Their Country of Origin (2005);

§  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Executive Committee Conclusion No. 107 on Children at Risk (2007);

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

II.  Main Sources of International Law and Commentary

A.  Introduction

The international materials discussed in this section include:

§  The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989);

§  The Committee on the Rights of the Child: General Comment No. 6 on Treatment of Unaccompanied and Separated Children Outside Their Country of Origin (2005);

§  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Executive Committee Conclusion No. 107 on Children at Risk (2007);

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

B. STRUCTURE

Section II of this memorandum introduces excerpts from international law and commentary directly or indirectly applicable to the provision of free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children in civil proceedings. This serves as background to the discussion in Section III on how the identified law and commentary could be utilized to support attempts to promote a right to free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children navigating immigration proceedings in the United States.

 

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

C. DEFINITIONS

 For the purpose of this memorandum, the following definitions apply:

 §  Child: Every human being below the age of 18 years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.[1]

§  Unaccompanied children: Children (as defined above) who have been separated from both parents and other relatives and are not being cared for by an adult who, by law or custom, is responsible for doing so.[2]

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

A. PURPOSE

This memorandum highlights international human rights law and commentary as well as potential arguments based on this law that could be utilized by U.S.-based advocates to promote a right to free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children navigating domestic immigration proceedings. Where relevant, the memorandum also references regional human rights law and national policies and identifies further avenues of research for advocates.

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

I.  Introduction

A.  Purpose

This memorandum highlights international human rights law and commentary as well as potential arguments based on this law that could be utilized by U.S.-based advocates to promote a right to free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children navigating domestic immigration proceedings. Where relevant, the memorandum also references regional human rights law and national policies and identifies further avenues of research for advocates.

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