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In Focus

Take a closer look at some of the events and actions taking place across the world to highlight how we can stand up for someone’s rights. Join us and together we will make a difference.

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© OHCHR

Stand up for the rights of child migrants

Gholam Hassanpour was 16 years old when he embarked on a journey with four friends across Iran and Turkey, travelling on foot or hiding in smugglers' trucks, before paddling across the Aegean Sea to Greece.

That was eleven years ago. From the Lesbos detention camp, Gholam made his way to Athens, found a job working as a tailor for 12 hours a day. Eventually, seven years later, with the help of the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), he acquired refugee status, and two months ago, was granted Greek citizenship. Today, at 27, Gholam is fluent in Greek and works as an interpreter for the GCR, helping other asylum seekers manage the challenges of the asylum process and transition to life in a new country.

“Throughout the course of our journeys, the lives of unaccompanied migrant children are in great danger. Smugglers, traffickers, border guards, police, even fellow travellers, often take advantage of us,” says Gholam, who makes a call to ensure better protections for unaccompanied migrant children, including requiring the presence of child protection officers in border areas to help determine a course of action for migrant children. “Child protection officers – not police or border guards — should be making decisions on what is best for unaccompanied children.”

Join Gholam and the UN Human Rights Office in urging States to protect the rights of unaccompanied minors and all child migrants and refugees. Stand #WithRefugees and sign this petition.


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