Article 22: Refugee children


  1. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicable international or domestic law and procedures shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of applicable rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights or humanitarian instruments to which the said States are Parties.
  2. For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate, cooperation in any efforts by the United Nations and other competent intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and to trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to obtain information necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases where no parents or other members of the family can be found, the child shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason, as set forth in the present Convention.

46% of the world’s 45 million refugees and displaced people are children. Children who are refugees, internally displaced or seeking asylum in another country are extremely vulnerable, whether they are with their parents or alone. They have experienced and witnessed things that no one ever should. And if they survive and make it to a safe place they are often faced with harsh immigration processes (including lengthy detention) and societies that are hostile to them. For this reason, States should give these children special protection.