Skip to main content

Operational standards and indicators on the reception conditions of unaccompanied minors 

Chapter  Subchapter  Standard


9. Housing

9.1. Location 

43. Ensure effective geographic
access to relevant services, such as public services, school, healthcare, social and legal
assistance, a shop for daily needs,
laundry, and leisure activities.

43.1 Specific arrangements are in place for children with special needs.

43.2 a) The relevant services are provided within the housing; OR
43.2 b) The facility is located at a reasonable walking distance from relevant services and the available infrastructure is safe for walking; OR
43.2 c) Relevant services are accessible by public transport and the duration of the journey is reasonable; OR
43.2 d) Relevant services are accessible through organised transport provided by the MS.

9.2. Infrastructure 44. Ensure sufficient space in the bedroom in collective housing.

44.1 A minimum space of 4 m² per person is provided for each unaccompanied child.
44.2 About the minimum space of 4 m² per person, a minimum height of the room of 2.10 m is ensured.
44.3 Sufficient space exists in the bedroom to place one bed and one cupboard.

45. Ensure respect for the privacy and safety of the children in collective housing

45.1 A maximum of 4 children are accommodated in 1 bedroom.

45.2 Separate bedrooms for single male and female children exist and no access is possible for children of the opposite sex.

45.3 The restriction of access should be ensured via separate facilities from adults.

45.4 A room creating a private setting (inside or outside the premises) for meetings with representative, legal aid, social worker, or other relevant actors is foreseen and available to the children, when needed.

46. Ensure that the housing
is sufficiently furnished.


46.1 The furniture for each bedroom includes, as a minimum:

46.1.1 one individual bed; AND
46.1.2 study table and a chair per person either in the bedroom or the common areas; AND
46.1.3 one lockable cupboard per child, big enough to keep personal belongings (such as clothes, money or documents).

46.2 In shared bedrooms, the cupboard is lockable.

46.3 The common/living areas should be furnished in a homely and child-friendly manner including a sufficient number of tables, chairs, sofas and armchairs. There should be a common living room.

46.4 In facilities where unaccompanied children cook for themselves, all of the following is provided and accessible in the kitchen:
sufficient refrigerator volume per person; AND
46.4.2 sufficient shelf space per person; AND
46.4.3 a minimum access to a stove per person; AND
46.4.4 a minimum number of dishes, cups, cooking utensils, and cutlery per person.

46.5 In facilities where catering services are provided, supervised food preparation training kitchen has to be accessible for children and the following items are provided and accessible in the kitchen:

46.5.1 sufficient refrigeration, oven/stove, and shelf capacity is provided and accessible.

46.5.2 sufficient number of dishes, cups, cooking utensils, and cutlery provided and accessible.

47. Ensure sufficient, adequate, and functioning
sanitary infrastructure in the housing.

47.1 All children should have safe and effective access to a shower/bath, sink with hot and cold water and a lockable, functional toilet which can be opened from the outside by staff.

47.2 At least one functioning and lockable toilet per eight children is accessible 24/7.

47.3 At least one functioning shower or bath with hot and cold water exists per eight children.

47.4 At least one functioning sink with hot and cold water per ten children is accessible 24/7.

47.5 If more than one shower is located in the bathroom visual separation is ensured.

47.6 Separate toilets, sinks and shower facilities exist according to gender (visibly and understandably marked) except for small housing facilities.

47.7 Arrangements are in place to ensure that children may access the facilities safely and that the intimacy of children is at all times respected.

47.8 Arrangements are in place to ensure that clothes and towels can stay dry while children are taking a shower.

47.9 Specific arrangements are in place for children with special needs.

48. Ensure compliance of the housing with relevant national and local regulations.
48.1 The housing is built in compliance with applicable local and national regulations.

48.2 The housing is maintained and operated in compliance with relevant local and national regulations, taking into account all potential hazards.

48.3 Sufficient natural light and fresh air enters the bedrooms and common/living areas of the housing while curtains and/or shutters are available to shut out the light when needed.

48.4 An adequate temperature regulation system exists for all areas of the housing.

48.5 The bedrooms and common areas are protected from excessive environmental noise.
49. Ensure that the inside and outside infrastructure of a housing designated to house applicants
for international
protection with
reduced mobility
is adapted to their

49.1 The housing is located: 49.1 a) on the ground floor; OR
49.1 b) a lift adapted for use by persons with reduced mobility exists; OR
49.1 c) stairs are not more than a maximum number, according to the degree of reduced mobility.

49.2 The external approaches such as paths or drives have a firm, level surface.

49.3 The entrance is designed to allow for the access unaccompanied children with reduced mobility.

49.4 Doorways and passageways inside of the
housing are wide enough for wheelchair users.

49.5 Grab rails exist for support in rooms and places that are used by children with reduced mobility.

49.6 Adapted sanitary infrastructure exists, including, for example, walk-in showers, grab rails, sinks, and toilets at appropriate height for wheelchair users, as well as a surface of bathroom and toilet rooms sufficient for wheelchairs

9.3 Security 50. Ensure sufficient
security measures

50.1 A risk assessment of the housing and facilities is carried out on a regular basis, taking into account external and internal factors.

50.2 Adequate security measures are introduced based on the outcome of the risk assessment.

50.3 Access to the premises is monitored.

50.4 Fire safety of the facilities is taken care of according to national legislation.

50.5 It is possible to report security issues (e.g. theft, violence, threats, hostility from external community) to the responsible personnel in a safe manner.

50.6 The numbers for emergency calls are displayed in a visible place and a phone is available.

50.7 Security measures also focus on the detection and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.

50.8 Specific arrangements have been made for
children with special needs.

50.9 A protected space for children to play which is free of hazards is provided. 

9.4 Common areas  51. Ensure that applicants have
sufficient space to eat.

51.1 All children have the possibility to eat in a designated space.
52. Ensure that children have sufficient space for
leisure and group activities.

52.1 An area that is suitable for leisure activities exists inside the housing or nearby within public space.

52.2 Where group activities are organised by the Member State, sufficient and suitable space, e.g. in the form of a separate room, is available.

52.3 A safe room/area exists for children to play and to engage in open-air activities in the housing itself.

52.4 a) A minimum of leisure activities are located
at a reasonable walking distance and the distance is safe for walking AND
52.4 b) In collective facilities, a minimum of leisure
activities appropriate to children’s age are available inside the housing AND
52.4 c) Additional activities may be accessible by public transportation or through organised transports provided by the Member State.

52.5 a) Children 0-12 have daily access to playgrounds and playrooms appropriate to their age AND
52.5 b) Children 13-17 have weekly access to indoor and outdoor sport facilities.

9.5 Sanitation 53. Ensure that cleanliness in private and common areas is maintained.

53.1 The housing facility observes a cleaning schedule.

53.2 The cleanliness of private and common areas of the housing is being checked on a regular basis.

53.3 The cleanliness is being checked when people move to another room or to a different housing facility.

53.4 If children take part in cleaning duties, (on educational basis) it is important for staff members to consider their age and development levels and provides the level of support that is necessary. It is also necessary that they have access to cleaning products and items, as well as protection equipment such as gloves and masks.

54. Ensure that the kitchen and sanitary areas are well maintained.
54.1 The cleanliness of the areas is in line with local and national regulations and standards.

54.2 The areas are cleaned at least daily (in accommodation centres), or as often as necessary.

54.3 In-depth cleaning of the areas takes place regularly.
55. Ensure children are able to do their laundry or have it done on a regular basis.
55.1 When the bed linen are provided in kind and washed by the housing facility, they should be washed at least every two weeks.

55.2 a) Children should be able to do laundry (including towels) at least once a week; this can be done independently or with the necessary supervision.

55.2 b) If a laundry service is available it should be sufficiently accessible at least  five days per week (including the weekend).
9.6 Maintenance 56. Ensure the safety and proper
functioning of the housing facilities
through regular maintenance.

56.1 The good functioning of the housing and its furniture and equipment is assessed on a regular basis.

56.2 Applicants for international protection have the possibility to report the necessity of maintenance and repairs.

56.3 Repairs and replacements needed within the housing are carried out promptly and with adequate quality.

9.7 Communication equipment and services 

57. Ensure that children have
adequate access to a telephone to maintain contact with family, carry
out calls concerning procedural, legal, medical and educational issues.

57.1 Access to a telephone is possible at least for calls concerning family contact, contact with the representative and procedural, legal, medical or educational issues.

57.2 Children have daily access to at least one telephone per facility.

57.3 Children can take calls in a private setting,i.e. other children cannot hear the conversation.
58. Ensure that children have
adequate access to the internet.

58.1 Children have daily and free of charge access to the internet in the housing itself for reasons regarding schooling and family contact.
59. Ensure children have the possibility to charge their devices for communication.
59.1 There is minimum one plug available and accessible per child to charge electronic devices.