Child Notices - Coram Children`s Legal Centre

Children in asylum procedures:
Child Notices: country of origin reports 2013-2015
Project “Better information for durable solutions and
protection” (UNICEF Sweden, UNICEF Belgium and
UNICEF The Netherlands)
The development of child specific country of origin reports
(Child Notices)
Make children visible
• 2013: > 12,000 unaccompanied minors applied for
asylum in EU countries
• Children in families
• Children as (hidden) victims of human trafficking
• Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria
Best interest of the child
– Article 3 UN CRC: in all actions concerning children the
best interest of the child should be a primary
– General Comment nr 14 – 2013: Assess and determine
the best interest of the child while looking for a durable
Key features
– Be informed by the CRC
– Be holistic
– Ensure child participation through child-friendly
procedures and proper information and support
– Should consider a range of solutions
– Demonstrate and document that the child’s best interests
have been a primary consideration
– Be multi-disciplinary
– Due process – safe guards
General Comment UNCRC
General Comment No 14 (2013) on implementation of
article 3 CRC:
– Best Interest Assessment: find out what are the
relevant elements in a best-interest assesssment,
give them concrete content, and assign a weight to
each in relation to the other
– Best Interest Determination: the formal proces with
procedural safeguards to determine the best interest
of the child
Best Interest Assessment
Non-exhaustive and non-hierarchical list of elements:
• The child’s view
• The child’s identity
• Preservation of the family environment and
maintaining relations
• Care, protection and safety of the child
• Situation of vulnerability
• The child’s right to health
• The child’s right to education
BID in asylum procedures
• Child’s claim for international protection
-> a BID is a necessary element; what is the best,
durable solution for this child?
– (UNHCR Guidelines, GC No 14, BIC-model)
• What do you need for a BID?
-> information! General and individual
• Country of origin information reports (COI)
-> lack of child-specific information
Durable solution
A durable solution is a sustainable solution that
ensures that children are able to develop into
adulthood, in an environment which will meet his or her
needs and fulfils his or her rights, as defined by the
CRC, and will not put the child at risk of persecution or
serious harm.
Possible Durable Solution
Durable solution
Those involved should conduct a comparison of possible
(durable) solutions ..and weigh possible competing rights
of the child…
and assess which durable solution will best enable the
child to exercise his/her full range of rights
Possible Durable Solutions
“Non-rights-based arguments such as those relating to
general migration control, cannot override best interests
General Comment No 6 – Committee on the Rights of the Child
Child Notice
A Child Notice:
– Gives information on countries of origin of children on
the move:
• Identifying potential (child and gender-specific) forms and
manifestations of persecution
• Identifying other factors relevant to decisions as to whether
remaining in the host country or return is in the best interests
of the child, including local responses to returnees
– Is essential in assessing the best interest of the child
and the effect of decisions on children.
“Better information for durable solutions and protection”
(December 2013 – December 2015), financially supported
by the European Commission)
3 parts:
1. Child notices:
1. Methodology
2. 8 reports (Albania, Afghanistan, Guinee, Morocco)
2. The use of the Child notices by target groups
3. Advocacy on the use of the Child notices in best interest
Content Child Notice
Based on UN CRC
• General principles
Non discrimination
Best interest of the child
The right to life, survival and development
Respect for the views of the child
• Basic rights
Child protection
Water, Sanitation and Hygiens
• Specific vulnerable groups of minors
Children of refugees and Internally Displaced People
Orphans, unaccompanied minors and seperated children
Children with a handicap
Victims of child trafficking
(Ex) child soldiers
Potential victims of FGM
Other vulnerable minors
Child-specific forms and
manifestation of persecutions
Age, lack of maturity, vulnerability
Under-age recruitment
Child trafficking
Family and domestic violence
Forced or underage marraige
Bonded or hazardous child labour
Forced prostitution and child pronography
Violations of economic, social and cultural rights
Limits of COI
• Not every event or situation, especially those of a minor
nature, is reported or available
• Available information can be contradictory
• Reliability of certain sources cannot be assessed
• Overload of information makes it difficult to select
information in a balanced manner
Local research – monitoring is done at a distance
How to balance the information
How to assess sources
How to keep information up to date
Enough detail
Availability of regional information
Lack of statistical data and child-specific data
Difficulty to report on non-state persecution
Limited budget - limited time for research
Proper use of the Child Notice