Research Guide for the Immigrant Child Advocacy Center


Country Reports/Factual Information


UNHCR's Refworld:

 University of Minnesota's Human Rights Library


U.S. State Department's Travel Information - Country Specific Information:

U.S. Department of State

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch Reports and Country Information:

Country of Origin Research (Immigration and Review Board of Canada):

Forced Migration Online's Regional Resources (University of Oxford's Department of Economic Development):'s Case Support:

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) :


News Sources


LexisNexis: News & Business Tab > By Country & region

Contains nearly 8,000 sources from 118 countries and 22 languages. Includes newswires, newspapers, magazines, tv and radio transcripts.  Select "Sources" and then "Publications by Region" to limit by region or country.

Facts on File World News Digest:

Internet Public Library (IPL) Newspapers Collection:

Keesing's World News Archives:

Google News:

Foreign Law




International Migration Law Database (international, regional, and national instruments; "Children, Minors")(International Organization for Migration or IOM):


UNHCR Refworld Legal Collection (choose Country, then Type: National Legislation; citizenship and nationality laws, etc.):,LEGAL,,,NLD,,0.html

Legal materials for Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, EU, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, UK; EELEG (Eastern European Legal Texts in English translation)

Legal materials for Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico (the Diario oficial (official gazette of laws)), the European Union, and the United Kingdom (Scotland, England and Wales)

World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII):


Selected search terms:  child, children, youth, adolescent, young, minor, vulnerable population, unaccompanied children, separated children, unaccompanied minors; child asylum-seeker, refugee children; battered child, abused child, child abuse, child victims, domestically abused children, domestic abuse, domestic violence, family violence, sex abuse, sexual abuse, sexually abused, familial abuse, abusive family/families, guardians, relatives, family members, battered immigrant children, violence against children

LexisNexis (Find Laws By Country or Region):

Westlaw (International Law tab - Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, UK):

World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII):

Other LIIs (AustLII, CanLII, SAfLII, BAILII, etc.):

UNHCR's Refworld (Advanced Search -> Types -> Cases, Decisions):

CALS Asylum Case Research:

The MIchigan-Melbourne Refugee Caselaw Site:

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada:  Decisions (RefLex database):; also Advanced Search:

Australia Migration Review Tribunal, Refugee Review Tribunal:  Decisions (searchable via AustLII):

UK Tribunals Service, Asylum and Immigration Tribunal:  Cases: ; see also AIT's Useful Links:

Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (gender asylum decisions and case law database):

CGRS resources on country conditions in gender asylum cases:

UK Centre for Migration Law (links to national agencies):

News Sources

 Interpreter Releases (Westlaw:  INTERREL)

 Immigration Briefings (Westlaw:  IMMIGRBRIEF)

Journal Articles

Westlaw:  IM-TP (immigration law articles), JLR, TP-ALL

Law Electronic Journals:

Non-Law E-Journals:

Oxford Journals database (International Journal of Refugee Law, Refugee Survey Quarterly, Journal of Refugee Studies)

Experts:  Jacqueline Bhabha


Finding Tools

Foreign Law Guide:

Foreign Law By Country (D'Angelo Law Library):

Global Legal Information Network (GLIN):

Citizenship Laws of the World (2001; summaries):


Foreign Law Research Guide (country-by-country grid):

Basic Guide to Researching Foreign Law (Mary Rumsey):

Political Asylum Research and Documentation Service (PARDS):

Foreign Agencies



Network of European Immigration Services:

Australia: http://






Great Britain:

New Zealand:

Norway: http://



United States:


CALS Asylum Case Research:

Forced Migration Online (thematic resource guides on children and adolescents, local integration, etc.):

Guide to Country Research for Refugee Status Determination:


International Law


ABA Standards for the Custody, Placement and Care
Legal Representation and Adjudication of Unaccompanied Alien Children in the United States

Convention on the Rights of the Child:

UNHCR Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in Dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum: 
UNHCR Guidelines on Formal Determination of the Best Interests of the Child
UNHCR Guidelines on Formal Determination of the Best Interests of the Child
1951 Geneva Refugee Convention
1951 Geneva Refugee Convention

HeinOnline Treaties and International Agreements Library:

HeinOnline Foreign and International Law Resources Databases:

United States Treaty Collection (UNTS, LNTS):

Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (status of treaties):



Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL):

Australian Treaties Database:


Human Rights Resources

Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC):$FILE/G0543805.pdf

Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons, especially in women and children:
Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography:

Migration and Human Rights:

Committee Against Torture (CAT):

Special Rapporteur on Torture:

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library:

The Official Document System of the United Nations (ODS):

International Organization for Migration:

Unaccompanied minors:

Return Assistance for Unaccompanied Minors:


Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):

Refugee Council (UK) - unaccompanied children:{18604F1B-B74C-4CA4-B525-073DC686CD89

ICAC resources: 



National Immigrant Justice Center
The National Immigrant Justice Center, a program of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, provides direct legal services to and advocates for low-income and impoverished immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The Center's Children's Project employs a Managing Attorney, Staff Attorney and Paralegal who recruit, train and mentor pro bono attorneys who represent unaccompanied children.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.

National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children
The National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children coordinates pro bono legal services for unaccompanied children released from detention in the United States.

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration
The Commission directs American Bar Association efforts to ensure fair and unbiased treatment, and full due process rights, for immigrants and refugees within the United States.

Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies
Jacqueline Bhabha has released a report on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated immigrant and refugee children titled "Seeking Asylum Alone."
Free website run by an international consortium of agencies that help asylum seekers in Australia, Canada, the United States, and several countries in Europe.

Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children
The Women's Commission is an expert resource and advocacy organization that monitors the care and protection of refugee women and children. It speaks out on issues of concern to refugee and displaced women, children and adolescents, who have a critical perspective in bringing about change but often do not have access to governments and policy makers.

National Immigration Forum
The National Immigration Forum advocates and builds support for public policies that welcome immigrants and refugees and are fair and supportive to newcomers in the United States.

Vera Institute of Justice
The Vera Institute of Justice works closely with leaders in government and civil society to improve the services people rely on for safety and justice. The Vera Institute's Unaccompanied Children Project is working to build organizational capacity to provide pro bono legal services in eight sites around the country.

Immigrant Children - Links to Websites

Unicef Convention on the Rights of the Child

Women's Watch (The Girl-Child)

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN, see "Issues")

Children's Rights International (World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights)

Child Migrants and Human Rights in our Time and Powerpoint presentation (2005)

Defence for Children International Library


Research Guides

ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law (ERG):

Researching International Law on the Internet:

Marci B. Hoffman & Robert C. Berring, International Legal Research in a Nutshell (2008)
D'Angelo Law, Permanent Reserve XXKZ1234.H644 2008

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations:


Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO):

Guide to International Refugee Law Resources on the Web:


Specialized Literature/Web Links

Unaccompanied Children in the United States: A Literature Review (April 2008):


Human Rights of Migrant Children:


Twenty Guidelines on Forced Return (Council of Europe):

Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection (covers the U.S, Australia, UK, and a comparative report):

Seeking asylum alone : a comparative study : a comparative study of laws, policy and practice in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. / Jacqueline Bhabha and Mary Crock ; in collaboration with Nadine Finch and Susan Schmidt. (Sydney : Themis Press, 2006)
D'Angelo Law, Bookstacks XXK3268.3.B533 2006

Unaccompanied minors:

Return Assistance for Unaccompanied Minors:


European Refugee Fund

The major activity within the field of assisted voluntary return is carried out under the programme Return and Emigration of Aliens from the Netherlands (REAN). Under REAN, IOM assists migrants in the Netherlands who wish to return to their country of origin. The assistance of IOM consists of counselling; pre-departure assistance; an airline ticket to the airport nearest their end destination; remuneration of the costs for travel documents; and a financial contribution to help during the initial period after leaving the Netherlands. Persons who have not applied for residence in the Netherlands are not eligible for a financial contribution.
Within REAN special attention is given to the facilitated return of victims of trafficking (by offering assistance and by organizing awareness-raising activities amongst judiciary of countries of origin and transit) and unaccompanied minors. Furthermore, IOM the Netherlands has broad experience in assisting migrants with medical problems.
An improved outreach of its assisted voluntary return activities has been established with the appointment of ‘native counsellors' under the Randstad Return Initiative. Under this project the potential target group is being actively approached by native counselors of IOM as far as they reside in the difficult accessible networks of irregular migrants in the major cities of the Netherlands.


Bhabha, Jacqueline, Schmidt, Susan. Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection in the U.S.
The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth - Volume 1, Number 1, Winter 2008, pp. 126-138. ABSTRACT: Among the scholars working on problems of today's children is Jacqueline Bhabha, an expert in international law, migration, and children's rights, who, with Susan Schmidt, has just completed a study comparing the (often harrowing) experiences in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, of children who, increasingly, find themselves applying for asylum alone. This study has growing significance in the post 9/11 world as developed countries erect higher and higher barriers in the way of asylum seekers and as asylum seekers increasingly include children traveling on their own. Click for larger view Figure 1 Jos� fled gang violence in El Salvador and sought asylum alone in the U.S. at the age of 17. He made a terrifying journey which ended in detention, fear and uncertainty. This is part of his story: I left El Salvador because I was frightened by gangs threatening to kill me for refusing to join them. My brother paid for us to take a bus from El Salvador to Guatemala, and then we walked and...


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