International Conventions and the Regulation of Migration: The Convention on the Rights of the Child and Sweden1

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Hans E. Andersson Södertörn University, Sweden

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It is a contested issue to what extent international conventions on human rights actually constrain states. While earlier shown that courts may invoke international conventions, this article investigates to what extent legislators, when it comes to migration, are similarly restrained. In a context where the trend is that states limit immigration and curb asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants’ social rights, the answer would seem to be that states are obviously unhampered. However, in Sweden there have been changes to the Swedish Aliens Act and to the entitlement to health care which have rather safeguarded asylum seeking and undocumented children’s situation. This article discusses the role that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has played in this development and considers whether this has restrained Sweden’s ability to act.

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