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EP resolution on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU

EP resolution on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU

 

SUMMARY OF:

European Parliament resolution of 12 September 2013 on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THIS RESOLUTION?

It is based on an own-initiative report* and follows up a mid-term report from the European Commission on the implementation of the Action Plan (2010-2014) on unaccompanied minors (persons aged under 18) arriving in the EU, which highlighted a number of areas requiring more attention and targeted action.

It contains recommendations and strategic guidelines to improve the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU and ensure their fundamental rights are fully respected. Some of these echo the contents of the action plan and areas highlighted for improvement in the Commission’s implementation report.

KEY POINTS

The Parliament recalls that unaccompanied minors are, above all, vulnerable children and that child protection must be the leading principle for EU countries and the EU in all dealings with them.

It insists that the child’s best interests must be respected. Under the Treaty on European Union, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, EU countries are obliged to protect children’s rights, and they are a priority under the Stockholm Programme.

It considers that the EU needs to address the core causes of migration and that child protection and the issue of unaccompanied minors need to be an integral part of development and cooperation policy.

Of particular concern is the need to strengthen the status of ‘legal guardian’ in the EU and partner countries. The Parliament also recommends drawing up a monitoring plan, in cooperation with countries of origin and transit, to ensure children are properly protected after returning to and being reintegrated into their country of origin.

The Parliament calls on:

  • the Commission to:
    • implement legislative and non-legislative measures to ensure adequate protection of children and unaccompanied minors, aimed, in particular, at finding durable solutions;
    • compile a handbook for EU countries and practitioners to ensure EU countries implement the legislation correctly and better protect unaccompanied minors;
    • take specific account of unaccompanied minors in the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund to ensure long-term guarantees concerning the protection of children. Staff dealing with minors should receive appropriate training;
  • EU countries and the Commission to:
  • EU countries to:
    • work closely with non-EU countries to address the growing problem of child smuggling;
    • prosecute smugglers with appropriate and commensurable sanctions;
    • encourage their authorities and civil society organisations to work together and ensure minors’ protection and dignity;
  • the Commission, EU countries, and non-EU countries to:
    • boost public awareness in the countries of origin, transfer and destination of unaccompanied minors of the risks related to child migration, particularly the exploitation of minors and organised crime;
  • the Commission, EU countries, the European Institute for Gender Equality and international and non-governmental organisations to:
    • make additional efforts to gather, monitor and share data broken down by gender so as to have an overview of the number of unaccompanied girls and to be able to address their specific needs.

Specifically on reception standards, the Parliament urges EU countries to respect unaccompanied minors’ rights to:

  • appropriate accommodation, with adequate sanitation;
  • adequate material, legal and psychological support;
  • education, training and socio-educational advice;
  • adequate health care;
  • information and use of media (radio, TV, internet);
  • leisure activities;
  • the continued use and development of their identity and values;
  • manifest and practise their religion.

KEY TERMS

Own-initiative report: under Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure, European Parliament’s standing committees may decide to prepare a report on a subject relating to their competence without having been consulted.

MAIN DOCUMENT

European Parliament resolution of 12 September 2013 on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU (2012/2263(INI)) (OJ C 93, 9.3.2016, pp. 165-173)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA (OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, pp. 57-73)

Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted (OJ L 337, 20.12.2011, pp. 9-26)

Directive 2011/93/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA (OJ L 335, 17.12.2011, pp. 1-14)

Successive amendments to Directive 2011/93/EU have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA (OJ L 101, 15.4.2011, pp. 1-11)

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament — Mid-term report on the implementation of the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (COM(2012) 554 final, 28.9.2012)

Commission staff working document on the implementation of the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors — Accompanying the document: Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Mid-term report on the implementation of the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (SWD(2012) 281 final, 28.9.2012)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (2010-2014) (COM(2010) 213 final, 6.5.2010)

last update 06.02.2018

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