Missing Children Publication Hub
Unaccompanied Migrant Children
Organization: Missing Children Europe
Published In: 2015
Country: European Union
"Safeguarding unaccompanied migrant children from going missing by identifying good practices and training actors on interagency cooperation"
(by Federica Toscano)
The presentation will be based on the preliminary results of the project SUMMIT - Safeguarding Unaccompanied Migrant Minors from going Missing by Identifying Best Practices and Training Actors on Interagency Cooperation. This project, co-funded by the European Union, was created specifically to respond to the need of getting some clarity on how the issue of the disappearance of unaccompanied migrant children is addressed in different countries and to promote successful strategies and attitudes related to the prevention and response to these disappearances.
The SUMMIT projects look especially into interagency cooperation between reception centres, guardians, law enforcement and 116 000 hotlines for missing children in prevention and response to the disappearance of unaccompanied children. The disappearance of a child is always the result of a failed system of protection, and any effective response must therefore take this broader context as well as the multiplicity of actors involved into account. Preliminary results collected through questionnaires and interviews in Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, United Kingdom and Ireland inform us that the lack of a common approach and methodology in the identification of the child is an obstacle to efficient cooperation within and across borders. Furthermore, care services report that too little efforts are made by authorities to follow up on reported disappearances of unaccompanied children, and that these cases normally receive a lower priority with respect to other missing children. These and other challenges identified will be presented during the session.
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