Two stick figures stand on separate pieces of land. One aims to reach the other, yet a prominent stop sign impedes their path.

UNCRC Article 22

If I am a refugee, I have a right to help, protection, and the same rights as children born in this country.

If a child comes to live in another country as a refugee, they should have the same rights as children born in that country as well as special protection as a refugee.

Governments should try to help find the family of any refugee child.

A child or young person is a refugee if they have had to leave their country to escape war, persecution or natural disaster. Children and young people who are refugees have the right to special protection and help whether they’ve come to Scotland with other people or not.

Refugee children and young people don’t lose any of their rights under the UNCRC just because they’ve come from one country to another. Specific things they have the right to include:

  • medical treatment
  • education
  • shelter.

The rights of refugee children and young people in Scotland are protected by the Commissioner, regardless of if they are Scottish citizens or not.


Citizen’s Advice Scotland are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) to give advice and assistance.

The OISC website lists the Citizen’s Advice Scotland offices on their adviser finder webpages, along with other organisations and agencies (although some of these do charge fees).

You can filter the search by location, as well as the specific type of advice you are looking for and whether to include those who charge fees.

The Scottish Refugee Council also offers advice, information and support to refugees and asylum seekers across Scotland.

Legal advice

The Scottish Child Law Centre and Clan ChildLaw may both be able to offer you advice about children’s rights.


IAST is a specialist Edinburgh City Council service which assists and advises individuals who have immigration related and ‘no recourse to public funds’ issues.

This includes asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, foreign nationals who are victims of domestic violence, some EU nationals, visa overstayers, and other people subject to immigration control.

In addition, IAST undertakes transitional integration work with people who have been granted refugee status or other forms of Leave to Remain and responds to general inquiries about EU nationals. They can also assist with some applications to the Home Office.

Relevant General Comments

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has produced many General Comments that help people understand how the UNCRC works in practice.

Some General Comments that are relevant to Article 22 are:

  • General Comment 6, on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin,
  • General Comment 22, on general principles around human rights of children in the context of international migration, and
  • General Comment 23, on state obligations regarding human rights of children in the context of international migration.

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