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There are 209 Australian kids stranded in India — they have special legal rights we must not ignore

Children outside Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. Ramesh Kumar Singh/AP/AAP

There are 209 Australian kids stranded in India — they have special legal rights we must not ignore

Children outside Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. Ramesh Kumar Singh/AP/AAP

There are 209 Australian kids stranded in India — they have special legal rights we must not ignore

Children outside Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. Ramesh Kumar Singh/AP/AAP

There are 209 Australian kids stranded in India — they have special legal rights we must not ignore

Children outside Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. Ramesh Kumar Singh/AP/AAP

Given parents are not allowed to travel to get them back, the situation is almost impossible. Some have reportedly resorted to hiring strangers to help get their kids home. As desperate parents seek alternative solutions, young people may become prey to strangers while in transit.

Joshua Aston, Edith Cowan University

The latest Senate estimates hearings revealed there were more than 200 Australian children stuck in India without their parents, up from 173 last month.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson says diplomats have a “steely determination” to bring these children back to Australia. Yet more than one year into the pandemic, the government is not able to provide a timeline for their return, other than “as soon as possible”.

While there has been attention given to Australians stranded overseas, much of this has related to adults.

What does human rights law say about children in this situation?

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