This report from the European Social Network presents findings ranging across issues from processing asylum applications to the treatment of UASCs, from support services required by migrant families to the integration of migrant children in host societies.
Here were some findings from page 37 of the report:
- Long asylum-seeking processes hinder integration. Participants at ESN seminar highlighted that it is crucial for unaccompanied children and migrant young people to have their asylum-seeking process solved first so that they can fully engage in the inclusion process.
- Issues faced by unaccompanied children should first and foremost be addressed from a child protection perspective and then from a migration or asylum-seeking angle.
- Reception centres should be better equipped to address the needs of children on arrival, specifically healthcare professionals and practitioners supporting traumatised children.
- Unaccompanied children should be provided with a guardian at the shortest possible delay so that they have a reference person who safeguards their interests and helps them coordinate the services they access.
- Age assessment should always be led by child development professionals, carried out only with the young person’s consent and most importantly taking account of a margin of error. EU Member States still follow different age assessment procedures, therefore it is crucial to work towards harmonising procedures.
- Access to education should be guaranteed soon after the child’s arrival. Preparatory classes are key to help children learn the language of the host country, and integration in mainstream education should take place as soon as possible. The role of school, career advisors and cultural mediators is key to help unaccompanied children and young migrants take the right steps towards their professional career. Training teachers and professionals working with unaccompanied children and young migrants is key to support their integration.
- Access to care for children in irregular migration situations should be improved, because in many cases there is a lack of services take up. This is mainly linked to the fear of being reported to migration authorities.
- Specific support should be provided for migrant children coming with their families as these children have specific needs, which may go unnoticed. For unaccompanied children reuniting with their families, it is important to assess as to whether this may lead to them dropping out of education or training.
- Social services in Europe highlight the need of preparing young migrants in their transition to adulthood, hence providing a package of support after children leave care at 18.
- Effective service coordination, for example, between child protection, health and migration or between social services, education and employment, is key to ensure the successful integration of migrant children and young people in societies across Europe.
Please find the report attached below.