Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2021

Publication Citation

28 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 245 (2021)


This note analyzes the US Government's approach to unaccompanied minors and the webs they must navigate when they are apprehended by the US immigration system. More importantly, this note calls for reformative approaches to children's rights through acknowledging the differences between adults and children while simultaneously taking their vulnerability and autonomy into account. After explaining the migrant crisis along with its implications and examining the underlying reasons fostering this movement, this note discusses the legal options available for unaccompanied minors. It draws on the shortcomings of the immigration system as the system labels unaccompanied minors as dependent children, but also treats them as adults. Further, this note establishes and calls attention to the long-term impact of this system on detained children. The note concludes by examining international law more specifically, the Canadian approach outlining how the US system can adopt certain policies to better its treatment of unaccompanied minors and refrain from further human rights violations.