Identifying good practices in, and improving, the connections between actors involved in reception, protection and integration of unaccompanied children in Europe

Save the Children Sweden together with UNHCR’s Bureau for Europe, NIDOS (NL), Coram Children’s Legal Centre (UK), Save the Children Italy, Don Calabria (IT), the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies and the County Administration in Västra Götaland (SE), have received funding from the EU for this 12 month project, ending in September 2014. The project aims to identify and promote good practices on reception and protection, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of actors engaging in the situation of these children and based on national mappings carried out in Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Each country have also developed practical tools which can be used by actors across the EU Member States.


  • The project developed an EU Reference Tool which sets out the body of EU law and policy which relates to unaccompanied. The EU Reference Document should serve as an important support for policy makers and practitioners alike.
  • The project mapped how actors work, individually and in cooperation with each other, in four countries in the EU (the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and the UK). National reports set out the findings in each country, identifying challenges and highlighting noteworthy practices.
  • A comparative report identifies common challenges across the four countries and national practices from one country that might inspire good practice across the region.
  • The project developed five practical tools addressing key aspects of actors’ work together. Each tool has been developed by a national partner and the CONNECT tools aim to increase actors’ skills and stimulate cooperation between them and be used by actors in other jurisdictions. They can be used individually or in a complementary way across a number of issues, including: first encounter, reception, guidance to actors working with children, promoting child participation, and ensuring decision-making procedures better fulfil the rights of the child to be heard.
  • The mapping and the tools both inform the targeted recommendations for action and priority areas for further work, nationally and at European level.

The CONNECT Project Report

The Reference Document on Unaccompanied Children: A compilation of relevant EU laws and policies

The Tools:

The Country Reports:


For questions and contact information please contact:
Mikaela Hagan, CONNECT Project Coordinator
Save the Children Sweden

Tel.: +46 8 698 90 54


This tool was produced within the context of the EU funded project CONNECT – “Identifying good practices in, and improving, the connections between actors involved in reception, protection and integration of unaccompanied children in Europe”, 2014. This document has been produced with the financial support of the European Commission. The contents of this report can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

Published 2016-05-20