This reasearch was conducted by IOM together with nongovernmental organizations in 10 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, the Czech republic, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The project aimed at contributing to the creation of a common approach for better addressing the needs of vulnerable asylum-seekers including unaccompanied minors (UAMs) and former unaccompanied minors.

Partner organizations compiled country-specific reports based on the legislation analysis, along with field interviews with experts as well as with UAMs themselves. The reports assessed policies, legislation, and practices in the key aspects of reception procedures and assistance to the UAMs, especially: determining the best interests of a child; guardianship; legal aid and legal representation; asylum procedure and ensuring human rights protection of UAMs during the asylum procedure; accommodation; education, free time activities, respect for the cultural and religious practices; etc. The research specifically targeted development of UAMs’ skills and abilities and deepening of knowledge which is of a crucial importance for their future life either in the host country or elsewhere. The Center for the Research of Ethnicity and Culture (CVEK) was the project partner in Slovakia; Alena Chudzikova (CVEK) and Katarina Fajnorova (Human Rights League) are the authors of the Slovak report.

Based on the country-specific reports, an international study Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers: Overview of Protection, Assistance and Promising Practices was prepared, comparing findings in individual countries, identifying main gaps and offering recommendations as well as introducing selected good practice examples.

The project culminated in a two-day conference held on December 5- 6, 2012 in Budapest, attended by policymakers and practitioners involved in the respective area.

More about the project

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The project was funded by the European Commission through the European Refugee Fund – Community Actions 2009.