Unaccompanied and Separated Asylum-Seeking and Refugee Children Turning Eighteen: What to celebrate?

What happens to unaccompanied or separated asylum seeking children when they reach the age of 18, the age of majority? This study attempts to collect data and examples of practices in Council of Europe Member States on this issue, giving specific focus to Austria, France, Hungary, and Sweden.

The research focused on the difficulties faced by young unaccompanied and separated asylum seekers who found themselves in the asylum procedure and reception system after losing the specific guarantees they received as Unaccompanied and Separated Children (UASC). By comparing their situation before and after their date of majority, the study attempts to express the magnitude of this change and the long-lasting, diverse implications involved.

The study shows that existing legal frameworks and practices vary between and even within Council of Europe Member States. The transition to adulthood for young unaccompanied and separated asylum seekers can have a great impact on a number of areas (psychological impact, specific guarantees in the asylum process, family reunification, access to education, etc.) and this report provides specific recommendations for best practice on how EC member states can handle each area.

Published 2015-09-17

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