This briefing paper explores alternative care for unaccompanied children in the context of international migration. Child-sensitive options, rather than immigration detention, can be utilised by states when responding to a child in the context of migration. This paper outlines the principles and foundations that underpin child-sensitive migration systems.
It describes the elements needed at different stages of the migration process, including upon first contact with the child, during placement in care, and when approaching a resolution of their migration situation. The paper demonstrates that alternative care systems for unaccompanied children can provide appropriate protection and care for children while also ensuring their migration situation is resolved.