Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Children's Claims

An asylum-seeking family who recently arrived in the U.S. spend time at a shelter in southern Texas, at the United States-Mexico border.

UNHCR has long recognized the specific protection needs of children in asylum procedures. Children might have independent claims to refugee status separate from those of their parents or other family members, in part due to the possibility that they may experience certain child-specific forms of persecution that could give rise to a distinct claim for protection. In addition, children have inherent vulnerabilities that mandate additional safeguards as they move through the asylum process.

UNHCR offers the following summary of its position on these topics as relevant to pursuing asylum in the United States:

Key UNHCR Resources

For a discussion of substantive and procedural considerations relevant to child-specific asylum claims, including in the U.S. context, see:

For a discussion of the reasons why children who flee Central America and Mexico may need international protection, see:

Additional Materials

  • Refworld: Children
  • Webinar by UNHCR, KIND, & The Young Center: Representing Children from Central America: Leveraging International Law to Strengthen Gang Based Asylum Claims (2017) (recording and slides)