Ad-Hoc Query on Return of Unaccompanied Minors
24 (Member) States provided information on the volume of returned unaccompanied minors and on family tracing. This ad-hoc query was launched by the Finnish Contact Point to the EMN.
This Ad-Hoc Query was launched because the Finnish authorities received AMIF funding for a joint-project regarding return. The key objective of the project is to improve the efficiency of returns of asylum seekers. The project also looks at the situation of unaccompanied minors.
24 (Member) States provided an answer, including Belgium.
Some of the main findings of this Ad-Hoc Query:
- Half of the responding countries reported that they returned unaccompanied minors during the year 2016, but only on a voluntary basis. Five of the countries indicated that during 2016 they carried out both voluntary and forced returns. Seven of the responding countries had not carried out any removals of unaccompanied minors that year, and two of the responding countries carried out only forced returns of minors during 2016.
- None of the responding countries carried out forced returns of unaccompanied minors to Afghanistan, Iraq and/or Somalia during 2016. Some Member States however reported that minors have returned voluntarily to these countries.
- Most of the responding countries stated that IOM has been recognized as the body through which family tracing and assessment is done. A total of ten countries indicated that they cooperate with IOM. This procedure, however, deals only with voluntary returns.
- Other measures to gather information on family ties that were mentioned, include information gained from the minor through interviews and cooperation with diplomatic services such as embassies.
More detailed information can be found in the attached summary and compilation of answers.