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3.1 Allocating unaccompanied children

STANDARD 13: Specific and objective reasons (e.g. age, maturity and special needs) linked to the individual situation of unaccompanied children, the specific care offered by the reception facility and the type of facility and possibilities of non-institutionalised forms of care are taken into account when allocating unaccompanied children.

Indicator 13.1: A mechanism is in place to consider whether there are specific and objective reasons for the allocation of a particular housing.

  • Additional remarks: The individual situation of children in the standard above refers in particular to the age, maturity and the gender (e.g. transgender persons) as well as cultural, linguistic and religious background of unaccompanied children. In addition, individual considerations e.g. existing family links should be taken into account.
  • In particular, provisions for the protection of unaccompanied children from sexual and GBV should be taken into account in all allocation arrangements.
  • If unaccompanied children are exceptionally placed in adult reception centre (e.g. together with adult sibling(s)), unaccompanied children have the same rights as other unaccompanied children (e.g. protection from all forms of violence) and procedural safeguards apply (e.g. appointment of a representative).

Good practice on allocation
It is considered good practice to:

✓ consider foster care or any other form of alternative (non-institutionalised) care as an option for allocation;
✓ allocate unaccompanied children to an appropriate reception facility after intensive observation and assessment 24/7 during a limited period of time (e.g. two weeks) in the first reception facility;
✓ prepare unaccompanied children to live an independent life after the assessment of the child’s maturity and autonomy, by allocating them to individual housing from the age of 16.