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On 12 September 2013, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU. The Resolution calls on the EU Commission to propose strategic guidelines for the protection of unaccompanied children arriving into EU and urges EU countries to stop detention of unaccompanied minors entering in the EU.

Terre des Hommes International Federation welcomes the adoption of the EP Resolution on unaccompanied minors  reflecting recommendations, demands and protection approach towards child mobility as per the Destination Unknown Campaign. The EP Resolution is a positive result to which TDHIF contributed by providing policy analysis and recommendations through a close collaboration with MEP Nathalie Griesbeck and her staff since March 2013.

Children are first and foremost children: a guiding principle for the EU and its Member States

“In the Resolution we affirm two main principles:

first, these children are first and foremost children,
secondly, the best interest of the child shall be the paramount consideration”

These were two strong messages launched by MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, Rapporteur for the Resolution when she introduced the Resolution during the EP Plenary Session (12th September 2013).

The European Parliament Resolution calls on the EU Commission to propose strategic guidelines setting common minimum standards for the protection of unaccompanied minors in the EU.  The guidelines should enshrine fundamental principles such as child protection and the child’s best interests,  the necessity of undertaking proper age assessment, the appointment of legal guardianship, non-discriminatory access to education, legal assistance, psychological support and proper accommodation.

In the Resolution, the Members of the European Parliament regret and condemn the fact that the recent Recast of the Reception Conditions Directive does not prohibit the use of the detention of unaccompanied minor asylum seekers and call on EU countries never to place a child in detention.

 A protection approach towards child mobility

During the EP Plenary Session MEP Nathalie Griesbeck reminded the EU Member States that  “The reasons behind the arrival of unaccompanied minors into the EU are several. Most of them are fleeing their countries to escape from war, violence, prosecution, poverty and natural disasters. Others  are sent to Europe by their families to study, to work, to help families financially. But these children may also be victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation, prostitution, domestic slavery during their mobility. These children by nature are vulnerable and it is our duty to do more for them“. 

The EP resolution represents a new important policy reference document to be used for pushing the European Commission and EU Member States to improve their policy for protecting children on the move in the EU.

Dossier and press:

Media contacts

Salvatore Parata
Head EU office
Terre des Hommes International Federation
paratas@terredeshommes.org
T. 00322. 893.0951

Lavinia Liardo
Advocacy Officer – EU office
Terre des Hommes International Federation
Tdh-europe@terredeshommes.org
T. 00322. 893.0951

  • Press Release “Rapport Mineurs non-accompagnés, Nathalie Griesbeck:

http://goo.gl/PEF02w
http://goo.gl/KRlStp 

  • Interview Nathalie Griesbeck, 12 September 2013: 

http://goo.gl/l5kI6w

  • Reference to Destination Unknown Campaign on Nathalie Griesbeck website: 

http://goo.gl/SNg8zz

  • The European Parliament “Resolution on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU”, adopted on 12 September 2013:

http://goo.gl/8T30eN 

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