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The term ‘undocumented children’ springs from the French ‘sans papier’, which is translated into ‘without papers’ in English. The term is commonly understood as a situation or position in which a person under the age of 18 years, often after seeking and being rejected residency, is residing in a state without proper authority or when a migrant child breaches the conditions for entering a state. Children and adults in this group are also often referred to as irregular migrants or ‘the clandestine’. Whether alone or accompanied by their families staying under the radar, ‘irregularity’ implies that the concerned children ’s status is ‘irregularised’—that is, that their actions or residency are disapproved by authorities or through legislative measures.

In this case, irregularity as a legal position is ...

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