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Closing the protection gap of unaccompanied children in Europe

Motion for a recommendation | Doc. 13646 | 03 December 2014

Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Joris BACKER, Netherlands, ALDE ; Ms Tinatin BOKUCHAVA, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Mr Irakli CHIKOVANI, Georgia, ALDE ; Mr Tuur ELZINGA, Netherlands, UEL ; Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Turkey, EC ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Ögmundur JÓNASSON, Iceland, UEL ; Ms Alev KORUN, Austria, SOC ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Ms Athina KYRIAKIDOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Ms Melita MULIĆ, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Foteini PIPILI, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Aleksandar SENIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Mr Jim SHERIDAN, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Oleksandr SHEVCHENKO, Ukraine, NR ; Mr Marc SPAUTZ, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Eric VORUZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Klaas de VRIES, Netherlands, SOC

There are approximately 100 000 unaccompanied children in Europe. Unaccompanied children can face risks to violations of their rights in their country of origin, during the journey and in the host countries. The guardians of these children in the host countries should be able to play an important role in protecting the unaccompanied children and in ensuring that their best interests are being served. However the level of protection these children enjoy differs a lot across Europe, because the tasks, roles and views of guardians are not respected everywhere.

As the European and international norms regarding unaccompanied children are not always correctly implemented at the national level, legal guardians are necessary to ensure the children’s rights in practice. They can only play this role if minimum standards guarantee a good quality, comprehensive role and a strong position of those guardians.

The Parliamentary Assembly should support the elaboration and development of the ‘Core Standard for guardians of separated children in Europe” and urge the Committee of Ministers to adopt a recommendation on these standards and set up a monitoring mechanism on its implementation. This would bring the practical implementation of the norms towards unaccompanied minors an important step further.