Summary table: Information, participation and representation of unaccompanied children

Operational standards and indicators on the reception conditions of unaccompanied minors 

Chapter  Subchapter  Standard

 Indicators

  1. Information, participation and representation of unaccompanied children
1.1 Information

1. Ensure 
unaccompanied 
children
receive
relevant information

1.1 Information has to be provided within a reasonable time not exceeding 15 days after the application for international protection has been lodged, of at least any established benefits and of the obligations with which they must comply relating to reception conditions.

1.2 Information should be provided free of charge.

1.3 The information provided should address the questions of the unaccompanied child
or the representative.

1.4 Information covers all aspects of reception conditions concerning unaccompanied children, and as a minimum the right to reception, the form of provision of material reception conditions (housing, food, clothing and daily expenses allowances), access to healthcare, education, leisure activities, and specific arrangements for applicants for international protection with special needs, if relevant.

1.5 Information is provided according to the special needs and individual circumstances of the unaccompanied children.

1.6 Information covers the roles of staff working with unaccompanied children.

1.7 Information should explain the obligation of appointing a representative in order to assist unaccompanied children on procedural issues and in their everyday life.

1.8 Information covers the main aspects of the procedure for international protection, incl. access to asylum procedure, available legal assistance and how to access it, possibilities for family tracing, family reunification, voluntary return and to appeal procedures that are relevant to his/ her case.

2. Ensure that
unaccompanied
children
understand
the relevant
information.

2.1 The information is provided in a child-friendly, age-appropriate and culturally sensitive manner.

2.2 Information must be provided systematically during the process and evidence of this information provision should be documented (when it was provided, by whom, etc.).

2.3 Interpreters and/or language mediators need to be available in reception facilities to allow communication with unaccompanied children in their native language.

1.2. Participation

3. Ensure that
children’s views/
opinions are
considered and
acted upon,
according to their
age and maturity.

3.1 Unaccompanied children are given safe and inclusive opportunities to express their views/opinions and for their views to be considered in line with age and maturity.

3.2 A well-publicised, confidential and accessible procedure for internal complaints is established for unaccompanied children within the reception facility.

3.3 Unaccompanied children are provided with feedback explaining how their input was considered and influenced actions at leastonce a month.

1.3. Representation 

4. Ensure the
appointment of
a representative
as soon as possible
but no later than
within 15 working
days from when
the application
for international
protection
was made and
enable him or
her to provide
assistance to the
unaccompanied
child with actions
related to his/her
legal obligations.

4.1 Ensure that the representative is able to verify if the accommodation and residential care arrangements are adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.

4.2 Enable the representative to report any issues to the reception staff providing housing to the child; involvement and consultation with cultural mediators should be provided, where appropriate.

4.3 Enable the representative to provide the child with information on his/her rights and duties in relation to accommodation and material assistance and in this connection to assist the child to lodge a complaint where necessary.

4.4 Enable the representative to verify if the child is informed about the role and responsibilities of the personnel and the caregivers in accommodation facilities.

4.5 Enable the representative to verify that the child has effective access to the education system and that the child regularly attends classes.

4.6 Enable the representative to promote the child’s access to leisure activities, including play and recreational activities appropriate to his/her age, maturity and interests.

5. Ensure that legal advisers or counsellors,
persons representing
international and the relevant NGOs recognised by the EU+ State concerned have
adequate access
to reception structures in
order to assist 
unaccompanied
children.

5.1 The access of the actors above is only limited on grounds relating to the security of the premises and of the unaccompanied children, provided that it is not thereby severely restricted or rendered impossible.

5.2 The actors listed above are able to meet and speak with the unaccompanied children in conditions ensuring adequate privacy

6. Ensure that
a procedure
is in place to
start tracing the
members of the
unaccompanied
child’s family as
soon as possible
after arrival and
identification,
where necessary
with the assistance
of international
or other relevant
organisations,
whilst protecting
the child’s best
interests

6.1 Reception authorities and/or other responsible staff including the representative initiate or start the family tracing based on the information given by the child and according to the best interests of the unaccompanied child.