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Family reunification of refugees and migrants in the Council of Europe member States

Recommendation 2141 (2018)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 11 October 2018 (35th Sitting) (see Doc. 14626, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, rapporteur: Ms Ulla Sandbæk). Text adopted by the Assembly on 11 October 2018 (35th Sitting).
1. Referring to its Resolution 2243 (2018), the Parliamentary Assembly emphasises the importance of protecting family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5) and recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
1.1 draw up guidelines for the application of the right to family reunification of refugees and migrants as well as for mutual legal assistance and administrative co-operation between member States and with third countries in this field;
1.2 invite member States to establish bilateral arrangements so they can represent each other when receiving visa applications and issuing visas;
1.3 invite the member States that have not yet done so to join, or co-operate with, the European Union Schengen Visa Information System with a view to exchanging the data necessary for enabling family reunification;
1.4 co-operate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in promoting mechanisms and action for finding missing family members of refugees, in co-operation with national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and national parliaments;
1.5 reinforce Council of Europe action on combating trafficking of child refugees, ensuring that unaccompanied child refugees are reunited with their parents, unless this is against the best interests of a child, for example if parents have participated in the trafficking of this child.