May 28, 2020
The European Commission is currently reviewing EU measures concerning international protection procedures and migration management as it prepares the upcoming EU Migration and Asylum Pact and accompanying legislative proposals. We understand this may include considering new EU rules concerning procedures at the EU external borders relating to identification, screening and expedited procedures concerning eligibility for international protection and return. Child Circle and Kids in Need of Defense (“KIND”) share a summary of core recommendations below on what measures should be in place at the EU borders as regards unaccompanied children. This briefing paper identifies how, from the border onwards, States should fulfil the obligation to identify, protect and assist these children, and find durable solutions in their best interests. In particular, it focuses on ensuring access for these children in vulnerable circumstances to essential procedural safeguards, including quality legal assistance and representation.
KIND is the pre-eminent US non-governmental organization devoted to legal protection of unaccompanied and separated children. Child Circle is an expert non-governmental organization in the field of EU migration and child rights based in Brussels. In 2020, Child Circle and KIND have been reviewing challenges and good practices in the provision of legal assistance to unaccompanied children in light of recent experience in both the EU and US. Later this year, Child Circle and KIND will publish a report to share key learnings and further recommendations on how the EU, national authorities and key stakeholders can make progress to enhance the operation of this key safeguard.