Improving the protection of unaccompanied migrant minors in Europe

In a resolution adopted today, based on the report by Manlio Di Stefano (Italy, NR), PACE called on member States to improve the protection of unaccompanied migrant minors and to avoid them going missing. The focus must be on “the need to treat unaccompanied children first and foremost as children, not as migrants,” declared the Assembly.

In the context of national and regional policies, unaccompanied migrant children should be duly registered upon arrival in Europe, allocated dedicated accommodation and given access to health care and education, states the resolution. Detention should be avoided at all costs, in keeping with the Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children, the parliamentarians added. They also asked governments to introduce accelerated asylum application procedures, including the early designation of sufficiently trained guardians and legal representatives.

At international level, PACE also called for closer co-operation, including with the countries of origin and transit as well as Europol et Frontex, in order to protect children from trafficking, and urged states to uphold the right to family reunion in the case of separated migrant minors and to harmonise the rules concerning the establishment of guardians and legal representatives.