Position paper on the return of separated children to reception houses in countries of origin


Date of publication:  22 Apr 2010 Publisher:  ECPAT Netherlands Publication type:  Legal / Policy Framework

The Dutch government finances reception houses for separated children in countries of origin in order to be able to return these children when they do not qualify for an asylum permit. This Dutch practice is followed by several European countries. Defence for Children-ECPAT the Netherlands and UNICEF-the Netherlands urge the European States to adjust this practice in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It is essential that child specific elements are researched when a child applies for asylum before a decision on return is made. When a child does not qualify for an asylum residence permit it is necessary to make an individual assessment to decide whether a durable solution is to return to the country of origin or integration in the country of residence. When a child is returned to a reception house in the country of origin it is essential that the child’s wellbeing is monitored effectively. A careful assessment must be made when a child is reunited with family members. The family members must proof their identity and provide appropriate long term care in the best interest of the child. A guardian in the country of origin should assess during the first months if the child is safe and if the family members take good care of the child. This will provide a safety net for returned children.

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