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  • Shelters for UASC in Toronto, Canada
  • Canada
  • In CANADA, the Red Cross First Contact Program was first established by the Canadian Red Cross - Toronto Region in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Refugee Housing Task Group. It has since expanded to other parts of Canada. This supportive programme for asylum-seekers also facilitates, in the Greater Toronto area, the release and referral of UASC of 16-17 years of age to shelters. Following an agreement with the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA), when an UASC arrives at an airport, the Red Cross is contacted by CBSA; and the First Contact Project locates a suitable shelter within the city that provides appropriate services for children.

    Also at that point, CBSA contacts McCarthy Tetrault, an international law firm to request interest to act as a “designated representative” for the UASC at the port of entry examination. This proposed designated representative programme was established by UNHCR in co-ordination with CBSA, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), the Red Cross, the Peel Children Aid’s Society and McCarthy Tetrault. The designated representative is subsequently appointed to the child by the IRB and is responsible for protecting the interests of the child at IRB procedures, as well as explaining the asylum process to them. The designated representative has to decide whether to retain counsel and, if counsel is retained, instruct him/her or assist the child to instruct counsel.

    A drop-in centre where refugees can access services and obtain information as well as a 24-hour emergency telephone service is also run by the Canadian Red Cross, allowing children, asylum-seekers and refugees already on the territory, to contact them at any time. The Project operates 7 days a week and allows new UASC seeking asylum in the city of Toronto to find immediate shelter upon arrival.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Legal advice and interpretation
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Supporting unaccompanied children and youth in Egypt
  • Egypt
  • Founded in 1979, St Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through four main programs: education, legal, community outreach, and psychosocial services. StARS’ Unaccompanied Youth Bridging Program (UYBP) provides a hybrid education and psychosocial program for unaccompanied children and youth (UCY) in Cairo. These are refugee and migrant children and teenagers in Egypt without their parents. Children and youth in the program take Arabic, Math, Computer and English classes; and participate in psychosocial group activities aimed at increasing their life skills, their self-reliance and their self-protection capacity.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Shelters for asylum seekers and migrants in Mexico
  • Mexico
  • Mexico is a transit country for people migrating to the United States, and has also become an important destination country for many fleeing violence in Central America and elsewhere. In recent years, migration routes through Mexico have become more dangerous due to a rise restrictive policies that put people at greater risk, pushing them into the hands of criminal organizations, human smugglers, and drug traffickers. A network of humanitarian aid organisations have emerged to operate numerous shelters, providing an alternative to immigration detention described as an ‘oasis’ along the dangerous migration routes in Mexico. La 72 is one such shelter operating in the region. La 72 is supported by Doctors without Borders, Asylum Access, the Red Cross, the UNHCR and various Mexican NGOs, and provides legal counsel and representation for those seeking asylum. There are now over 85 organisations like La 72 offering food, shelter, safety, and a ‘humanitarian space’ where migrants can feel dignified and supported. The shelters serve as alternatives to detention, ensuring the right to freedom of movement.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Transit
  • Bail for detainees in Malta
  • Malta
  • Immigration detainees may request bail within the context of appeal proceedings before the Immigration Appeals Board (Immigration Act, article 25(a)(6)). Civil society organizations have reported that the Board’s decision is usually not based on the necessity or even the legality of detention but rather on whether the person concerned has accommodation and means to sustain himself, and can provide sufficient financial guarantees to comply with the conditions of bail.

    The failure to apply non-custodial measures with respect to an immigration detainee in the Massoud case was one of the reasons that led the European Court of Human Right to conclude that Malta violated the applicant’s right to liberty. The court found it “hard to conceive that in a small island like Malta, where escape by sea without endangering one's life is unlikely and fleeing by air is subject to strict control, the authorities could not have had at their disposal measures other than the applicant's protracted detention to secure an eventual removal in the absence of any immediate prospect of his expulsion.”[56]
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Immigration detainees
  • All
  • Transit
  • Supporting and empowering unaccompanied child asylum seekers in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • Scottish Guardianship Services - The Service works to help young asylum seekers to feel supported and empowered throughout their journey whilst their claim is assessed and their status determined. It enables them to access the assistance they need when they need it and help them to make informed decisions about their future. On referral, the young person is appointed a guardian, who will represent a point of contact and continuity through their progress through the asylum and immigration system. The guardian is there to make the young person aware of their rights, explain aspects of the asylum, trafficking and welfare system to them, introduce them to social opportunities and to begin to integrate them into community life. Local authorities are obliged by the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 to provide UASCs with accommodation under section 25, which makes them formally looked after. For the purposes of Section 25, children are defined as up until 18 years of age, the same as the definition of children in immigration legislation. The Scottish Refugee Council together with Glasgow City Council and partners including COSLA, the Scottish Government and UKBA have taken practical steps to help ensure that best practice is followed when young people need to be age assessed from the outset and developed practice guidance, which is a first in the UK. This is aimed at helping social workers in Scotland to conduct the difficult task of accurately assessing the age of young asylum seekers.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case management and support
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Legal status registration programme for undocumented people in Pakistan
  • Pakistan
  • A new pilot project in Pakistan to register undocumented Afghan refugees – who up to now have been without identity papers and living in fear of being arrested or deported – would allow up to one million people to have legal status, the United Nations refugee said. ... The six-month registration programme started yesterday in the capital Islamabad and Peshwar, in the north-west, which hosts the largest number of undocumented Afghans. The programme is expected to be rolled out throughout the country starting on 16 August. Afghans registered under the new scheme receive Afghan Citizen cards, which allow them to legally stay in Pakistan until the Government of Afghanistan can issue them passports and other documents, and provides protections under Pakistani law. The registration project comes after three years of consultations between the Governments, and is part of Pakistan's Comprehensive Policy on the Repatriation and Management of Afghans, which was endorsed by its cabinet in February this year. “I am feeling confident that I will have at least some sort of identity while in Pakistan,” Mohammad Rehman, who was born and raised in Pakistan to Afghan parents, told UNHCR. “If the police arrest me now, at least I will be released without much trouble.”
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Refugees
  • All
  • Transit
  • Group homes for unaccompanied refugee children in Spain
  • Spain
  • The regional government of Andalusia last year became the first in Spain to host unaccompanied Syrian refugee children such as Mahmud. Since September, it has welcomed eight youngsters aged 15 to 17 – six boys and two girls – all relocated from Greece. The aim was to provide a safe, nurturing environment in a residential setting with social, health, education and culture and leisure resources designed to “favour their social development” and help them feel integrated. ... Now they live at a group home in a quiet backstreet where the loudest sound is a trilling canary. The youngsters share spotless rooms, sit together for meals and attend secondary schools, in a project run by the regional government of Andalusia and supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. ... The children are offered after-school activities as part of the effort to integrate them into the town of 60,000 inhabitants south of the provincial capital, Granada. These range from Spanish evening classes at the Club UNESCO Motril, where Bienvenido teaches, to work experience and volunteering.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Housing and basic care for families in Austria
  • Austria
  • Since October 2011, a facility in Zinnergasse in the outskirts of Vienna serves as a non-secure facility to house people benefitting from a non-custodial measure. It accommodates up to 17 families (or 50 persons) in family apartments. In 2013, 154 people were housed in this facility, including 75 families. Non-citizens accommodated in this facility can leave at will, but they must notify officers. There are always two police officers in residence. The facility is jointly operated by the police and the association Menschen.Leben. The association’s team is present during the day and is in charge of admission to the facility, daily care, food distribution, crisis intervention, interpretation, and conflict prevention (see GDP Profile for Austria, accessed 29 March 2015). Note that Zinnergasse also operates as a secure facility and the detention unit is used to detain both families and unaccompanied minors under the age of 16 for up to seven days.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Migrants
  • All
  • Assistance to seriously ill migrants in Mexico and Honduras
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in collaboration with the Mexican and Central American National Societies, provides free assistance to migrants (in transit or returned) who have suffered major illnesses or injuries during their journey (including amputations, spinal cord injuries, etc.). They offer the following services: (1) donation of prostheses (before physical rehabilitation), (2) osteosynthesis materials, wheelchairs and crutches, (3) ambulance transfers, (4) referral to rehabilitation and medical care centres in Mexico and Central America, and (5) reestablishment of family links when necessary.

    In Honduras, the National Committee to Support Returning Migrants with Disabilities (CONAMIREDIS), with technical and financial support from the ICRC, works directly with returning migrants who have disabilities. It offers: (1) psychological assistance through support groups of people with similar experiences; (2) access to training and vocational education (e.g., how to design a business plan); and (3) seed capital to implement business plans through an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce. (Approximately 40 businesses plans were financed in 2015.) In addition, CONAMIREDIS performs conferences and lectures in schools and other institutions to share its experience of migration and raise awareness of the risks associated with trying to enter the United States irregularly. The ICRC supports CONAMIREDIS with both technical and financial support.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Transit
  • An obligation to report victims of trafficking in Sweden
  • Sweden
  • Officials in Sweden are obliged to notify the social welfare committee on any suspicion of trafficking of a child, even if evidence is not clear. The obligation to notify is absolute in the sense that it is not up to the staff to decide whether it is a clear-cut case of trafficking. Difficulties in identifying child trafficking victims stem from a lack of human resources and the subsequent backlog in individual needs assessments that should be done for each child upon arrival at the municipality. These assessments frequently reveal past or ongoing exploitation. Due to the decrease in arrivals in the first four months of 2016, the municipalities have started to reduce this backlog. In view of the high risk of trafficking of unaccompanied children, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has developed guidelines (riktlinjer) and recommendations (råd) on this topic for the municipalities. At the accommodation centres for unaccompanied children in Sweden, access to NGOs has been reduced to decrease the risk of unauthorised persons contacting children. Besides this measure, the Swedish Health and Social Care Inspectorate (Inspektionen för vård och omsorg) has not observed any specific safeguards or information material at these centres. According to the Inspectorate, the number of children placed at the centre, their whereabouts at night or contacts with unauthorised persons have been unknown at some accommodation centres.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Austria - Identifying trafficking survivors
  • Austria
  • The first interview with asylum seekers, particularly women, at basic care centres in Austria, for example, always addresses the issue of trafficking in human beings so as to see if applicants need special support as required by Article 17 of the Reception Conditions Directive. Female staff is available for this task. Possible victims are accommodated in a women’s shelter in the first reception centre Traiskirchen. Female psychologists, who may be consulted twice a week, may also assist with identifying victims. Three of the Member States covered in this report systematically use the initial health check upon arrival for identification purposes: In Austria, Bulgaria and Croatia, healthcare staff pay special attention to possible signs of human trafficking based on training and/or guidance provided to them. Efforts to improve the identification of child victims of trafficking in Austria include focused training and cooperation between the police and child and youth authorities, as well as the Austrian Task Force Against Human Trafficking.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Trafficked
  • Women
  • Coaches to help navigate a family's options in Belgium
  • Belgium
  • Under Belgian law the families staying at these units remain legally “detained”; in practice however, the family units are not closed and families have a large degree of freedom of movement albeit with some restrictions. Although there is a 10 pm to 8 am curfew and one adult family member must always remain in the house, this is applied with some flexibility with the prior authorization of the coaches. The families receive a weekly allowance, food vouchers and non-food items. Children are able to attend schools in the locality and families have regular access to physical and mental health services if requiredFamilies are required to sign a “contract” that sets out their rights and obligations while in the family unit as well as the consequences of absconding. Each family is assigned a “coach”, who is in effect a case manager, employed by the Belgian Immigration Department. Coaches are responsible for providing families with individual and holistic support. This support centres on helping families to achieve case resolution, whether this is a right of residence in Belgium, or return with dignity if they are found to have no legal basis to remain. In doing so, they provide logistical and administrative support to families, ensuring that they have access to pro bono legal services and arranging meetings with diplomatic and consular representatives where appropriate, in cooperation with the Immigration Office
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Migrants
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • Ensuring migrant children have the same care as citizen children in Sweden
  • Sweden
  • Swedish law provides that all children should receive the same level of care, irrespective of whether they are citizens or foreigners. UMC are usually accommodated in a children’s home (‘home for care or residence’ or ‘HVB housing’ which may be special housing established specifically for the reception of UMC) or a foster family (foster families are drawn from the same pool of families that care for Swedish children in need). While their applications are being processed, UMC asylum seekers are treated as “asylum applicants” and provided access to a certain number of rights, such as the rights to accommodation, schooling, health and dental care. As with adult asylum applicants, they are provided with the LMA identity card. Pursuant to the Act on Guardians Ad Litem for Unaccompanied children, a temporary legal representative or guardian ad litem will be appointed by the Chief Guardian to represent and assist the UMC during the asylum procedure, and to generally look after the child’s interests during this period. The role of the guardian ad litem is to act both as a legal guardian and custodian of the child, with the right and duty to decide all matters relating to the UMC’s affairs, however, this does not extend to daily care and supervision of the child
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Legal aid for people in immigration detention in the United States
  • United States of America
  • The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Arizona. Since 1989, this nongovernmental agency has been permitted entry to immigration detention facilities (Florence INS Service Processing Center) to give daily legal rights presentations to between 20-40 detainees at a time prior to their first hearing before an Immigration Judge. The presentations assist detainees in evaluating whether to go forward with their case, increasing the efficiency of the immigration court process and reducing the overall costs of detention. The group orientations are followed by individual interviews with those who request them. The Project also provides instructions for writing supporting/bond letters for parole hearings and directly represents a portion of those applicants at their bond hearings. In 1998, based on the success of the Florence Project, the US government (administered via EOIR) funded legal orientation projects in three different sites, with three different agencies, for three months each. The Department of Justice’s findings from these pilot projects were that providing such rights information to immigration detainees made the immigration proceedings more efficient and reduced overall bed days in detention by 4.2 days per detainee. Such legal orientations have now been funded nationwide. At an estimated cost of detention of $65.61 per day, such orientations should lead to a $12.8 million saving. If the legal orientations cost $2.8 million, the government will still save $10 million
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Legal advice and interpretation
  • Migrants
  • All
  • NGO program to support released detainees in the United States of America
  • United States of America
  • CIVIC is national convener of a network of groups providing support to people released from detention. Some of these programs have official partnerships with ICE to run alternative accompaniment programs and others operate post-release accompaniment programs.

    What is a CIVIC Alternative Accompaniment Program (CAAP)?
    CAAP are community-initiated alternative to detention programs run by community groups or nonprofits in a similar manner to the federal Refugee Resettlement Program. Instead of being detained, immigrants are allowed to remain living with family. If they are recent asylum seekers without family, then they are housed with volunteers or in group homes while the courts process their immigration cases. An “alternative accompaniment program” does not include ankle monitors and demonstrates that people nationwide can build effective and humane pathways away from our punitive immigration detention system. CIVIC coined the term “alternative accompaniment” after private prison corporations hijacked the term “alternative to detention.”

    Are there examples of alternative accompaniment programs?
    CIVIC’s Post Release Accompaniment Program (PRAP) is a community-initiated alternative accompaniment program. PRAP provides immigrants who would otherwise be detained with the ability to fight their case from the outside. PRAP assists in helping immigrants obtain release on parole, for example, and provides them with housing, connections to attorneys, transportation to immigration court, and limited financial support. Over the last year and a half, volunteers have secured the safe release of approximately 300 asylum seekers, and CIVIC is now expanding on the scope of its demonstration model by engaging local and federal governments in supporting a community-based alternative to detention that replaces immigration detention beds with holistic community support for all immigrants, eventually capping (and then eliminating) the number of people in immigration detention. With careful data tracking, CIVIC is proving that this new model is less expensive than immigration detention, and also leads to more successful outcomes. [reviews Vera stats] In 2013, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops both signed Memorandum of Understanding with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to administer self-funded community-based alternatives to detention pilot programs. LIRS administered its program in New York/Newark area and in San Antonio. USCCB administered its program in Baton Rouge and Boston.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Immigration detainees
  • All
  • Sudan - screening refugees for trafficked persons, including those currently in detention
  • Sudan
  • The Commission for Refugees, however, reportedly screened new refugees for vulnerabilities to trafficking and referred an unknown number of victims to an international organization for care. Throughout 2015, the government allowed a local NGO access to detention facilities in eastern Sudan to screen for and identify trafficking victims among detainees, but it was unclear how many—if any—victims it identified. Security officials reported rescuing 1,296 foreign migrants during security operations, some of whom may have been trafficking victims and most of whom were likely smuggled or extorted for ransom. It was unclear if authorities referred any of these migrants to appropriate protective services. The government continued to arrest, detain, prosecute, or deport trafficking victims among vulnerable populations for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to human trafficking, such as immigration violations.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Trafficked
  • All
  • Germany screening and referral by healthcare for trafficked persons
  • Germany
  • In Germany, identification by healthcare staff depends on the local/regional networks. In Germany, referrals are organised at Länder level, where in most cases, cooperation agreements between specialised counselling centres, police, federal level authorities (e.g. women affairs, social affairs) and other actors have been set up. Victims are referred to the counselling centres for support in legal and other issues. Asylum case officers are also instructed to inform a counselling centre in cases of trafficking, however, according to the experience of the counselling centres, this is not very often the case in practice. A majority of counselling centres for trafficking victims report a lack of regular access to reception and detention facilities, although their social workers often identify trafficking victims. They can reach potential victims only indirectly by offering training to the staff and volunteers working at the reception centres.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Trafficked
  • All
  • Identification procedures to screen for trafficking victims in Bulgaria
  • Bulgaria
  • In Bulgaria, the State Agency for Refugees plans to formalise identification procedures at first registration. Three of the Member States covered in this report systematically use the initial health check upon arrival for identification purposes: In Austria, Bulgaria and Croatia, healthcare staff pay special attention to possible signs of human trafficking based on training and/or guidance provided to them. In Bulgaria, a coordination mechanism for referral and care for unaccompanied foreign children and foreign child victims of trafficking is being developed. No preventive measures are in place targeting trafficking risks among vulnerable groups. Prevention of trafficking is done as part of the general care work towards such groups.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Trafficked
  • Children
  • Transit
  • Italy - IOM supporting authorities to identify trafficked persons among new arrivals and transfer to reception centre for further assessment and support
  • Italy
  • In Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports the authorities in identifying victims of trafficking among new arrivals. Disembarkation facilities in Italy are generally unsuitable for identification purposes as they offer insufficient privacy and safety, particularly when victims arrive together with their traffickers. The main constraint is the limited amount of time available upon arrival for establishing trust with the victims. The presence of cultural mediators from the same geographical background as the victims has been a positive factor increasing the willingness of women to report information on their trafficking background. If a victim is identified during disembarkation, IOM contacts the competent Prefecture to ensure immediate separation and transfer to a reception centre. IOM interviews female victims for a second time at the receptions centres, assessing the need to refer them to a specialised protection facility.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Trafficked
  • Women
  • Transit
  • Sweden - civil society screening for trafficked persons and support for those identified
  • Sweden
  • More than 20 civil society organisations coordinate their work against human trafficking based on a common platform, ‘Sweden’s civil society against trafficking of human beings’ (Plattformen civila Sverige mot människohandel). Member organisations provide assistance in terms of identification, provision of information, accommodation, dialogue, legal counselling, interpretation, healthcare, education, employment and family contacts. As part of a pilot project initiated in 2015, the member organisations finance the 30-day reflection period, during which the victims may decide whether to cooperate with the police.
  • Practice
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Trafficked
  • All
  • Voluntary return process in Finland
  • Finland
  • The Finnish Immigration Service and Helsinki Police have established a return transit center in the city of Vantaa, in the vicinity of the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The center was established in February 2016 due to the high number of Iraqi asylum seekers willing to return home. These asylum seekers have either withdrawn their application, or have received a negative decision and are returning voluntarily to Iraq. The return is organized by police on charter flights to Baghdad. The returnees stay in Vantaa only a few days before departure. A visit to Iraqi Embassy can be organized during the stay if necessary for acquiring a travel document. These returnees do not take part in the Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) -programme and do not receive any reintegration support in cash or in kind. Finland organizes only voluntary returns to Iraq. Additionally, Finland has two detention units, where asylum seekers or irregular migrants awaiting forced removal may be placed, one in the capital Helsinki and one in Joutseno, near the eastern border. The capacity of the centre in Vantaa is 90-100 persons. The capacity of the detention centre in Helsinki is 40 and that of Joutseno is 30. The Iraqi nationals staying in the Vantaa return transit centre are all ex-asylum seekers returning voluntarily home. They are not detained and they are free to move in and out of the centre. They receive the same services and benefits as all asylum seekers in Finnish reception centres, e.g. food, accommodation, reception allowance and necessary health care. The two detention centres in Helsinki and Joutseno are closed units that operate under Finnish legislation regarding the detention of foreigners. The centres offer food, accommodation and necessary health care. The return centre in Vantaa, as well as the detention centres, are managed by the Finnish Immigration Service. There are special facilities for vulnerable cases or families with minor children at Joutseno detention centre.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Increasing legal pathways to protection in Brazil
  • Brazil
  • Safe, legal and dignified access to asylum: Brazil. In 2013, in response to the Syrian war, Brazil was the first country in the Americas to announce the start of a humanitarian visa programme: under the regulation, Brazilian embassies in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey issued visas for Syrians and people of other nationalities affected by the Syrian conflict, allowing them to travel safely to Brazil and apply for asylum there. The programme, originally scheduled to last for two years, has recently been extended until 2017. By August 2015, 2,077 Syrians had been welcomed under this programme, making Syrians the largest group of refugees in the country. Asylum seekers have access to the health and education systems and are allowed to work while their applications are being considered. A similar visa mechanism is also available for Haitians; a programme more limited in numbers as the Brazilian embassy in Port-au-Prince only issues around 100 visas per month, even though the demand is higher. The humanitarian visa programme for Haitians was born out of a desire to undermine smuggling and trafficking rings, which are the cause of expensive and extremely dangerous irregular journeys to reach Brazil. The number of refugees hosted by Brazil is still relatively low, with around 8,000 recognisedrefugees as of 2015, the highest number on record for the country. It is also estimated that a much larger number of Syrians have entered the country without applying for asylum. The existing population in Brazil, of those with Syrian origin, numbers approximately three million, being a large community that helps in the integration of refugees. Humanitarian visas constitute one of the safe and legal channels that UNHCR and many NGOshave been calling for, especially in light of the current humanitarian crisis in Europe. The Brazilian example shows that this is not only possible, but also easily accomplishable. For further information: • UNHCR/ACNUR, Dados sobre refugio no Brasil, 2010-1014 (Portuguese); • EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Legal entry channels to the EU for persons in need of international protection: a toolbox, February 2015; ECRE, Revision of EU Visa Code offers opportunity to promote use of humanitarian visas for refugees, study says, 12 September 2014
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Refugees
  • All
  • Employment initatives for asylum seekers in Germany
  • Germany
  • In response to record numbers of people arriving in Germany to seek asylum, several German businesses have implemented initiatives to assist new arrivals to find employment. Automotive corporation Daimler is offering ‘bridge internships’ for refugees and people seeking asylum. The 14-week program consists of a practical component in production operations and German language classes, where participants also practice job interviews and prepare job applications. Daimler reports that ‘nearly all 40 participants of the rst program will receive offers from temporary employment agencies for continued employment in [the] industry or in a particular trade or craft or will get a vocational training opportunity at Daimler’. Telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom offers three-month paid internships to refugees and people seeking asylum, in areas such as IT, project management, customer service, marketing and human resources. Participants are assigned a ‘buddy’ to support them throughout the internship. Steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp is offering 150 apprenticeships, 230 internships and additional positions for skilled workers and graduates to refugees throughout Germany. The company has also called on the German Government to provide language courses for refugees to support their transition to the workplace. Engineering conglomerate Siemens has committed to a long term program for supporting refugees to nd employment in Germany, offering a paid internship program for people who are still in the process of seeking asylum and establishing special classes designed to ‘lay the foundation for a successful career start’, with a particular focus on German language skills and vocational preparation. Other businesses offering internships and other forms of employment support to refugees in Germany include the chemical giant BASF, auto parts and tyre supplier Continental, software company SAP SE and railway operator Deutsche Bahn.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Holistic care for unaccompanied refugee children in Thailand
  • Thailand
  • The Bangkok Child Protection program is implemented through a partnership between UNHCR and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Thailand. Initially established as a three-month pilot project in 2014, the program aims to respond to the needs of unaccompanied, separated and other vulnerable children residing in Bangkok through providing best interests assessments, referrals to service providers and emergency assistance. There are currently 162 children receiving support through the program. Once a child is registered with the program, a caseworker conducts best interests assessments (based on an interview and home visit) to determine the child’s basic needs and identify protection gaps. Relevant support is then provided through referrals for financial, medical, educational or legal support. The program also organises recreational, educational, and psychosocial activities, as well as opportunities to participate in training courses and workshops. The Bangkok Child Protection program operates in a challenging legal, social and cultural context. Thailand
is not party to the Refugee Convention and lacks a legal and administrative framework for refugee protection. The unstable political environment, the complexity of case management for vulnerable and often traumatised children, and the lack of ongoing support options for young people who have turned 18 pose further challenges. Nonetheless, the support provided through the program plays an important role in assisting asylum seeker and refugee children to survive and meet their basic needs in this difficult context.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Holistic support for refugee children in Austria
  • Austria
  • In Austria, SOS Children’s Villages has 15 years of professional experience in providing quality care to refugee children and supporting their integration. To respond to the current refugee crisis in Europe, SOS Children’s Villages Austria has been creating customized places for 300 children in newly established facilities since 2015, offering a range of alternative care options: small group homes, semi-independent living, foster care, integration and specialised education programmes. Recently, a group home in Linz was established to accommodate 15 unaccompanied refugees. Native-speaking psychiatrists and therapists, as well as professional interpreters, are available to support the children. The nearby public schools offer a great opportunity for the successful integration of the young refugees. SOS Children’s Villages Austria has also set up ‘Biwak’ living communities for unaccompanied refugee children between the ages of 12 and 18, who require a daily structure and specialised socio-pedagogical support. They stay at the ‘Biwak’ until the age of legal adulthood. Furthermore, SOS Children’s Villages Austria advocates for the right of all children to quality care and education, which is not equally ensured to refugee children by current leg- 8 11 islation. For example, compulsory schooling is provided by law for children aged 14-18, but not for young asylum seekers, because of their uncertain status.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Refugees
  • Children
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Information communication technology services for refugees in Serbia
  • Macedonia (FYROM)
  • Serbia
  • ICT services are essential in refugee centres. As a part of its emergency response, SOS Children’s Villages is helping to facilitate this need by setting up more SOS ICT Corners, offering free WiFi, computers, printing/scanning/copying services and charging stations for mobile phones and other electronic devices. Since the closing of the Balkan transit route in early March 2016, many children and young people have been stranded in refugee camps in Serbia and Macedonia. The ICT Corners offer them a place to connect to family members online. For 14-year-old Zafar8 from Afghanistan, who is traveling alone, coming to the SOS ICT Corner in the Serbian refugee centre gives him hope that he will reconnect with his mother and sister back home, with whom he has not had contact in over a month. ICT Corners are also useful for children and young people to gain computer literacy or play educational
    child-appropriate games, guided by SOS ICT staff. SOS Children’s Villages co-workers are teaching children and young people about MS Office and other useful applications. In addition, as a response to the needs of the children visiting the ICT Corners, co-workers are expanding their activities. A technician at the ICT Corner in Preševo, Serbia shares that he and his colleague have started teaching children to speak Serbian. “They are fast learners,” he says.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Refugees
  • Children
  • Reducing Statelessness in Malaysia
  • Malaysia
  • Many Indian Tamils were brought from India to Malaysia as indentured labourers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when both countries were under British rule. Generations later, thousands of their descendants remain in Malaysia but are not considered citizens and lack identity documents, and are therefore barred from accessing a range of services and opportunities. In July 2014, Malaysian NGO Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA), with technical support from UNHCR, embarked on a mapping and registration project to identify the extent and underlying causes of statelessness amongst Indian Tamil communities in west Malaysia. To reach communities living in remote areas, mobile registration teams travelled from town to town to locate and register people who did not have identity documents. Data on stateless applicants was captured using a mobile app and uploaded to a secure central database. Those registered by DHRRA then received counselling and assistance from community-based paralegals to apply to Malaysia’s National Registration Department (NRD) for national identity documents. Some applicants who could not resolve their case at the NRD level received pro bono legal support to acquire or confirm their nationality through the courts. As a result of these efforts, as well as community awareness-raising and government interventions pursued since July 2014, the number of stateless people identified within this community reduced from an estimated 40,000 people at the commencement of the project to 11,534 people by June 2016. As of July 2016, 12,234 people had been registered by DHRRA, 70 per cent of whom had submitted applications for documentation to the NRD.212 The Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia has invited relevant government agencies and DHRRA to establish a working group on statelessness to accelerate the processing of these applications.213 To date, a total of 700 people have acquired Malaysian citizenship through DHRRA’s legal aid and counselling services in west Malaysia.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Stateless
  • All
  • Transit
  • Support for refugees in India
  • Australia
  • India
  • The Refugee Community Development Project was a community-led project based in New Delhi, India. Established in 2012, the Project was developed and managed by the Afghan and Somali refugee communities in New Delhi. The Project aimed to be ‘by refugees, for refugees’, utilising their skills and rst-hand knowledge to identify needs and service delivery gaps, and develop responsive solutions that were tailored to community needs. A key focus area for the Project was the empowerment of refugee women at risk, their families and other vulnerable groups. Seven women’s groups were established across four areas of New Delhi, providing a space for women to develop social and community connections and take part in exercise, recreational activities and skill development (such as cooking and tailoring classes). The groups provided important psychosocial support to women, with participants reporting that they felt less isolated, did not visit the doctor as often and felt more con dent to voice their opinions due to greater awareness of their rights. Education was another key focus of the Project, with 28 classes provided each week for hundreds of refugee women, youth and children. Classes were developed based on education priorities identified by the community, including adult literacy classes for women and language, culture and history classes for children. Literacy classes supported women to negotiate daily life in New Delhi (such as filling out forms at their children’s schools and speaking with doctors), while classes for young people aimed to foster a sense of belonging and community connectedness. Additional support was provided through a volunteer program, including outreach services (such as interpreting at hospitals in a medical emergency), information for newly-arrived refugees and referrals to other services. The program also provided volunteers with an opportunity to develop skills and gain work experience, enhancing future employment opportunities. The Project received funding from the Australian Government through the Displaced Persons Program, and was managed with the support of the Centre for Refugee Research at the University of New South Wales and Bosco New Delhi (an implementing partner of UNHCR). The program has now been discontinued due to lack of funding.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Refugees
  • All
  • Transit
  • Supported work experience
  • Australia
  • The National Australia Bank’s African-Australian Inclusion Program provides six months of paid, supported work experience to skilled African Australians (many of whom are from refugee backgrounds). The program was developed in response to feedback from the African-Australian community indicating that ‘lack of local experience in the Australian business sector was a significant barrier to employment’. Participants in the program receive an entry-level salary, receive cultural training and mentoring, are assigned a coach to assist them with career goals and obtain a professional reference at the end of their placement. More than 180 people have participated in the program since 2009, 86 per cent of whom have subsequently found work in their chosen eld in NAB or elsewhere.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Migrants
  • All
  • Supporting migrant education
  • Australia
  • The Australia Awards Scholarships program, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, provides opportunities for people from developing countries to undertake study at participating universities and TAFEs. It aims to assist these students to ‘develop skills and knowledge...to drive change and contribute to the development outcomes of their own country.’ The Award covers a range of costs, including tuition fees, return airfares, a contribution to living expenses, health cover and pre-course English training.136 Participating countries include several of the major refugee-producing countries in the Asia–Pacific region (namely Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan and Sri Lanka),137 suggesting that there may already be potential to extend similar opportunities to people in humanitarian need. However, to offer an effective solution for refugees, some aspects of the program may need to be adjusted. For example, the requirement that scholarship recipients leave Australia for a minimum of two years after completing their scholarship would need to be waived in order to prevent refoulement.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Migrants
  • All
  • Exceptional regularisation for migrants in Morocco
  • Morocco
  • Following the recommendations by the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) on 9 September 2013 and their endorsement by King Mohammed VI, the Moroccan Government announced that it would elaborate and implement a new asylum and migration policy in compliance with the country’s international obligations. One important aspect of the country’s new approach to migration has been the implementation of a one-time exceptional regularization process for irregular migrants, which started on 1 January 2014 and lasted until the end of 2014. Among 27,332 migrants from 116 countries, who applied to the Ministry of Interior for regularization, 17,916 were accepted, the majority being Senegalese (6,600) followed by Syrians (5,250). However, non-governmental organizations raised concerns over the strict criteria and evidentiary requirements for regularization, the insufficient training of the staff of the Office for Foreigner taking the applications, and the lack of consistent information on the appeals procedure.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Undocumented or irregular migrants
  • All
  • Transit
  • Reporting mechanisms for vulnerable poulations in Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • After a short period in detention, most vulnerable individuals including asylum seekers and torture claimants are released on their own recognisance, which may include conditions of self-surety and minimal reporting requirements. Asylum seekers and torture claimants are issued with recognisance papers from the Hong Kong Immigration Department documenting their status in the community. The recognisance paper is renewable monthly to certify that the person has a claim under process and has permission to stay in Hong Kong. All non-refoulement claimants are required to report in person to the HKID once a month or as scheduled. Failure to report is tantamount to absconding and consequently results in an investigation and potential arrest. A government-funded project run by a non-government organisation arranges housing in the community as well as direct provision of food, clothing and medicine to these clients. Using a case management approach, workers assess each case on intake and develop an appropriate program of response in line with the resources available. Vulnerable clients, such as unaccompanied minors, are given priority and extra support as able. Persons must report regularly to the NGO, though the NGO is not responsible for compliance matters, although known breaches must be reported to authorities
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Children
  • Elderly Persons
  • Pregnant and nursing mothers
  • Residence permits for people unable to depart the Netherlands
  • Netherlands
  • Migrants whose applications have been rejected, including irregular, undocumented or unreturnable people, can be granted a residence permit for a limited time if they are unable to leave the Netherlands through no fault of their own. The permit is granted on condition that the migrant leaves the Netherlands if this becomes possible at a later stage. After 3 years, the holder of the no-fault residence permit becomes eligible for another residence permit for limited time. The applicant has to meet four stringent cumulative requirements: (i) they must prove that they have tried independently to leave the Netherlands (ii) the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) must have indicated that it is not able to assist them in leaving due to lack of travel documents (iii) Dedication by the Return and Departure Services to obtain the necessary travel documents must have been unsuccessful (iv) the applicant must show that he or she cannot leave the Netherlands through no fault of his or her own.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Undocumented or irregular migrants
  • All
  • Identifying risks for children as soon as possible in Norway
  • Norway
  • In June 2014, Norway’s Immigration Authority (UDI) introduced a new fast-track procedure for cases of UAMs where there was a perceived risk that the minor could disappear or be in need of urgent assistance both due to security issues (trafficking in human beings, forced marriage or other forms of severe abuse) or due to severe health problems. In the fast-track procedure the registration by the National Police Immigration Service (PU), the initial conversation by the UDI and the carpal and teeth x-rays are all carried out on the same day, or as fast as practically possible. The purpose is to secure enough information at an early stage in order to carry out the age assessment, to make a decision in the asylum case, and to follow up on identified needs.
    The initial conversation with UDI, in addition to mapping the reasons for seeking protection, also investigates whether the UAM is at risk of issues such as trafficking, violence or health issues. If there is concern about such risks or other forms of severe abuse, Child Welfare Services are notified of this concern, and the minor may be referred to special accommodation by Child Welfare Services (see above). The following groups of asylum seeker UAMs are put through the fast-track procedure: those from North-Africa, those who apply for asylum after having been apprehended by the police, those who have resided in Norway for some time already, those who have previously absconded from reception centres, and those who can be at risk of trafficking or other forms of severe abuse (indicator-based approach). The fast-track procedure also aims to better coordinate between the different agencies that work with UAMs who disappear.
  • Practice
  • Liberty
  • Establish a presumption of liberty
  • Migrants
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Comprehensive reception and care arrangements for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Austria
  • Austria
  • Guardianship - The Children and Youth Service Authorities becomes the guardian of UAMs. This is for all minors, irrespective of age and status. Usually the guardians’ duties include care and education, asset management and legal representation but some duties may be outsourced to reception facilities, NGOs or law firms. Practical implementation varies according to UAM's place of residence as guardianship is the competence of each individual province and that there are no guidelines concerning its implementation - practice has been criticised as being inconsistent. Each UAM is allocated a "Supervisor" who s/he can refer any questions or problems to. Legal representative - UAMs who seek asylum are also appointed a legal advisor during the admission procedure. Once admitted, have access to free legal advice as per other asylum seekers. Accommodation and reception - Organized reception facilities (apartment-sharing groups (majority)), residential homes; supervised accommodation). Access to education - equal access to primary education as Austrian children; secondary education more challenging and often only with help of NGOs and private organizations. Asylum seeking minors can be granted work permit for vocational training with certain conditions/restrictions. Access to healthcare - general health insurance system. Residence Options -asylum status (permanent residence); subsidiary protection status (1 year residency, extendable for 2 year periods); residence permit or residece permit plus (on grounds of Article 8 ECHR); residence permit for individual protection (trafficking, victim of violence or grounds for tolerated stay); Red-White-Red Card plus ; Tolerated Stay (if removal is not possible). Age Assessment - The multifactorial medical age assessment includes physical, dental and radiological examinations. The combined results of these examinations lead to a defined minimum age. Until the assessment has been undertaken and the results are available, the potential UAM – as a matter of principle – is treated as a minor.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Ad hoc foster care practice in Austria
  • Austria
  • Reception and living in families is not common for unaccompanied minors in Austria. At the moment, the city of Graz in the federated state Styria (Steiermark) is the only place in Austria that accommodates unaccompanied minors in foster families. is is seen by those delivering the family care environment as a good practice which delivers positive outcomes in the children’s lives.

    The foster care organization Pflegefamilie Austria was more or less coincidentally asked by the city of Graz to accommodate some unaccompanied minors in 2012. Therefore, they have 6 unaccompanied children aged 13-15 living with foster families (children over 16 are accommodated by Caritas in Graz and not in foster families). A distinction is made between children that are allowed to stay in Austria and those that have to return, as the organization strongly believes that a child should be able settle and integrate. Although Pflegefamilie Austria is quite satisfied with the results and even managed to provide foster families with the same cultural backgrounds, it is not aiming to expand this approach, nor is it being requested to.

    Another good practice is taking place in Salzburg, where Kinder- und Jugendanwaltscha (Kija) is preparing a project on accommodating unaccompanied minors in foster families. Kija is the ombudsman for children that exists in every federated state in Austria. It looks at the functioning of the youth care system and advises on changes to the system where necessary. Although Kija does not yet have the financial means for the project and is currently looking for ways to fund it, the first placement (of a 16-year-old Afghan boy) in a foster family in Salzburg was a promising development in August 2014. The social department of the federated state of Salzburg states that this was an exception, as unaccompanied minors do not fall under the regular youth care system but rather under basic care arrangements. However, together with Kija, Asylkoordination Österreich believes foster care is useful and legally possible for unaccompanied minors. They maintain that federated states should realize that a minor is a minor, regardless of where they come from, and that all children should therefore be treated equally.

    The member of the federated state council in Salzburg who is responsible for integration agrees, and embraces the idea of foster care for unaccompanied minors. She has proposed to facilitate it everywhere in Austria within a nationwide working group of people responsible for the reception of unaccompanied minors. She has also urged the federated state of Salzburg to investigate whether such foster care can be organized within the state. The general idea in the federated state of Salzburg is that such a placement will cost €670 euro a month, which is the amount of money received by youth care foster families who care for an 11-year-old.

    The various stakeholders do not regard the general situation in Austria concerning foster care for unaccompanied children as an overnight change, given that integration and awareness of the main issues are still di cult topics concerning refugees in Austria. However, they are beginning to think of ways to realize a more individual approach towards the reception of unaccompanied minors, with foster care being one of the options considered. is is also the case for the youth care department of Tirol, for instance. When contacted about this project, the coordinator for unaccompanied minors in that federated state explained that foster care for unaccompanied minors is not yet available in Tirol but that it is believed to be a good alternative to institutional care and worthy of consideration for the future. Another expert stated that everybody in the field would welcome foster care for unaccompanied minors, especially for the younger ones.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Quota system for asylum seekers in Germany
  • Germany
  • An asylum-seeker distribution system operates in Germany where a quota is calculated on an annual basis per Länder, taking into account their tax receipts and population size (“Koenigsteiner Quota”). Asylum-seekers are assigned to an initial reception centre using a nationwide distribution system called “EASY”. The individual designation of the residence is based on the available reception capacities in one of the 22 initial reception centers; the country of origin of the asylum-seeker; or the presence of core family members in one of the German individual states (spouses, minor children, or – in case of minor asylum applicants - their parents). In cases where other relatives are present in Germany, asylum applicants may apply to be re-allocated to another Länder. With the exception of the so-called “city states” (i.e. Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen where individuals are generally directly allocated to collective accommodation centers or private housing), asylum-seekers in Germany usually stay for a minimum period of 6 weeks in the Initial reception Centre (IRC), where basic provisions are provided in the form of non-cash assistance. Compulsory accommodation in those centers ends if either the asylum-seeker is granted refugee status or temporary protection; if he/she is granted residence on account of marriage in Germany; has received a binding decree ordering his/her deportation that cannot, in the foreseeable future, be executed; or, in any case, no later than 3 months after the asylum application was lodged. Thereafter, asylum-seekers awaiting successful completion of their asylum procedure are usually transferred to open collective accommodation centers (CACs), run by private companies or charity organizations under contract with the municipality, or are privately accommodated. There are restrictions on movement to the district of the federal state in which the centre is located. Exceptions to this rule are authorised. Practice varies by federal state, but generally asylum seekers are not supposed to travel outside their district of assigned residence (some districts are no larger than 15 sq km) without special permission from the competent local aliens authority. They are subject to detention as a penalty if they do so.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Case management and support
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Transit
  • Reception facilities for unaccompanied children in Greece
  • Greece
  • The reception facilities for unaccompanied minors in Greece are operated by non-governmental and sometimes by Governmental institutions, mainly with funding from the European Refugee Fund. At the time of this report, the total capacity was 320 places, although the needs were much higher and there was a waiting list of approximately 200 children. While waiting to be referred to an open accommodation centre, identified minors stayed either in the limited space in the First Reception Centre (FRC) or in detention facilities. It should be noted that both in the FRC and in detention centres, it is foreseen that unaccompanied children are placed in a different section than adults. In January 2013, the European Commission entrusted IOM Greece to address the challenging issue of unaccompanied minors in Greece. The 21-month Programme “Addressing the needs of unaccompanied minors in Greece” included enhanced family tracing and family assessment procedures which, along with the views of the children, could be used in determining whether it was in their best interest to be provided with assistance to voluntary return and be reintegrated in their country of origin. Throughout the implementation of this programme, our main objective was to ensure that each child exercised his or her right to be heard, provided with the necessary care and support they needed and, that ultimately, the best interest of the child was taken into consideration throughout the assistance process and that the outcome of each case was based on the best interest of that child as well. As the report goes on to say, the operational lessons learned included working with both caution and speed to respond to the children’s sense of urgency about family reunion; enabling and assisting communication between the child and family was essential; and the critical need for experienced, motivated and knowledgeable professionals.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Support for asylum seekers and migrants being deported from Sweden
  • Sweden
  • In Sweden, asylum-seekers are appointed two case workers after registration. A first case worker is responsible for the asylum process: he/she conducts interviews with the applicant in order to investigate his/her claim for asylum and to prepare the decision that will be taken by the executive officer of the Swedish Migration Agency. A second case worker supports the applicant in solving everyday life questions (daily allowance, special allowance, school, housing etc.), referring him/her to medical care, counselling or other services where required. Located at a Reception Unit near the residence of the applicant, he/she is also tasked to inform the applicant on decisions by the Swedish Migration Agency or Migration Courts. This second case worker also provides “motivational counselling” in order to prepare the asylum-seeker for all possible migration outcomes, and assesses the risk of absconding on a negative asylum decision. In the return process, he/she organises formalized contacts to discuss return. This caseworker system is considered a factor that has positively affected the voluntariness of departure from Sweden.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Support for asylum seekers in New Zealand
  • New Zealand
  • The Asylum Seeker Support Trust works to create a safe and supportive environment for all asylum seekers. We provide access to information, services and resources so asylum seekers may effectively pursue the determination of their refugee status, and thrive in their new home. We have three committed part-time staff, a hostel that houses up to 14 people, and three transitional homes for families. We are proud to offer a measure of safety and stability where once there was none. Asylum seekers waiting for their refugee status to be processed often have little or no money. From a limited budget we provide food parcels and other necessities to tide them over, English language lessons, and medical attention when necessary. A registered social worker makes a needs assessment to determine if any other help is needed, including bus fares and access to government services, referral for medical attention, etc. Once asylum seekers gain refugee status, we continue to support them in their resettlement. As well as practical support, we help asylum seekers negotiate with authorities, advise them on ways to manage a new culture, and put them in touch with other community and refugee organisations. We're part of the Refugee Sector Strategic Alliance made up of 19 organisations, and a member of the Asia and Pacific Rights Network, seeking durable protection for refugees in the Asia-Pacific region. We regularly make submissions on law changes, and provide ongoing information on the plight of asylum seekers to the Government and to the public. We advocate vigorously for better, kinder treatment of people in dire need of asylum.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Support for asylum seekers in Spain
  • Spain
  • In Spain, asylum seekers who enter the refugee determination process can be
    housed in an open reception centre if they cannot afford private accommodation.150
    These centres are operated by the government or by non-government organisations.
    The total reception capacity in Spain is about 850 places, with priority given to vulnerable individuals.
    Asylum seekers cannot choose which area within Spain they will be located.
    The centres are responsible for the reception, promotion and integration of asylum seekers and refugees.151
    Residents are free to come and go from the centres as they like. As an example, one centre provides bedrooms shared by 3-4 single adults, while families have their own
    room with a small bathroom attached. There are catered meals in a dining hall, public lounge areas, library, shared computer and Internet access and a shared laundry.
    Residents receive $50 per month cash allowance for their own use including public
    transport. Twice a year residents are given money for clothes.
    Residents are assigned a social worker who provides information and advice on their situation, works to develop an individual pathway
    and assists them in accessing education, health care and other social systems
    of Spain. All residents are expected to attend Spanish language classes, cultural
    orientation, and employment preparation programs.
    Recreational activities such as sports, visits to the local library, exhibitions and
    movies are supported by an activities offcer. Psychological services and specialised
    services including legal aid are available for eligible residents. The centres
    also undertake advocacy activities in the local Spanish community.152 Residents are
    issued a card that identifes them as asylum seekers and facilitates their access to medical care.
    Asylum seekers can be housed in reception centres for six months. If they are still awaiting a decision on
    their refugee application at that time, they are supported to find independent housing and employment.
    At this point, they are given the right to work. Vulnerable individuals and families may
    apply to extend their stay in the centre for an extra six months if needed. The program has been praised
    by UNHCR for its high standards.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Transit
  • Status for migrants in Romania
  • Romania
  • Emergency Government Ordinance 194/2002 on aliens’ regime in Romania - tolerated status (and accompanying 'tolerated document') is granted by the General Inspectorate and provides individuals with permission to remain in Romania. Tolerated status may be granted (a) when persons are 'forbiden' from leaving the territory and they do not fulfil the conditions for a residence permit (b) when the measure of public custody taken against them has ceased (c) when their presence on Romanian territory is required by important public intersets (d) when they cannot be removed from the territory and cannot be granted or extended a stay right (e) when there are reasons to consider they are victims of human trafficking (f) when a measure of removal from the territory is suspended (g) when forced/escorted return cannot be executed within 24 hours and they are not taken into public custody (h) when the General Inspectorate for Immigration ascertains they are temporary in impossibility of leaving Romania due to other objective reasons. Tolerated status is granted for a period of maximum 6 months that can be extended for new periods of 6 months up to the cessation of the toleration reasons. While holding tolerated status, persons have access to the labour market under the same conditions as Romanian citizens.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Migrants
  • All
  • Transit
  • Assessing the quality of care for unaccompanied refugee children in India
  • India
  • Recognising the vulnerability of the approximate 500 unaccompanied and separated refugee children living in the sprawling Indian capital city of New Delhi and the lack of detailed information on their care arrangements and general protection environment, the operation and partners conducted a joint needs assessment. After a detailed preparation stage, a questionnaire was developed focusing on the alternative care environment as well as questions on health, education, livelihoods and tracing needs. A multi-disciplinary team of interviewers was assembled and training was conducted for staff with less child protection experience. Over the course of 8 days over 200 children agreed to participate in the assessment and were interviewed, ensuring of age, gender and diversity (AGD) were considered. At the end of the process the findings were presented to the refugee community through two focus group discussions as well as community animators working with refugee children. The assessment found that 48 per cent of the children had found their current care arrangement through the refugee community leaders and 89 per cent of those who participated in the assessment felt safe in their current care arrangements.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Respect of fundamental rights
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Foster care for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in France
  • France
  • In 2011, 16 representatives from 10 EU Member States reviewed and evaluated each country’s approach to caring for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. The top-ranked practice with 400 points (79 per cent of all possible points) is the placement of UAMAS under 16 years of age with foster families, as practised in the UK. Comparisons were made between the UK practice and similar practices in other EU Member States such as the Netherlands or France, where children are also placed with foster families. Compared with the UK, placement of children in other countries does not take place on such a wide scale, foster families do not receive state support, and only younger children benefit (in the Netherlands children up to 13 years of age and children who are considered vulnerable).
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Foster families for unaccompanied migrant children in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • In 2011, 16 representatives from 10 EU Member States reviewed and evaluated each country’s approach to caring for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. The top-ranked practice with 400 points (79 per cent of all possible points) is the placement of UAMAS under 16 years of age with foster families, as practised in the UK. It is significant that this practice, ranked highly positively by both interviewed UAMAS and experts, has been implemented for several decades now and is well institutionalized, is state-regulated and funded (foster families receive contributions to cover their expenses associated with fostering), and is subject to rigorous rules and monitoring. Comparisons were made between the UK practice and similar practices in other EU Member States such as the Netherlands or France, where children are also placed with foster families. Compared with the UK, placement of children in other countries does not take place on such a wide scale, foster families do not receive state support, and only younger children benefit (in the Netherlands children up to 13 years of age and children who are considered vulnerable). Several other countries, including Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia, mentioned that finding foster families is difficult. Societies are not as ethnically diverse as in the UK and families are often reluctant to receive people from different ethnic backgrounds. In addition, Central European countries have a strong tradition of institutionalized care and finding foster families is not a priority for state institutions responsible for childcare.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Refugee Camp Design Promotes Family Based Care in Ethiopia
  • Ethiopia
  • The Shire operation in Ethiopia in recent years has seen an average of around 100 unaccompanied children (UAC) arriving per month. Sheer numbers dictated that as a last resort, small group-care would have to be an interim option pending efforts to place children in family based care including reuni cation with their family members. A major struggle was the camp layout, with one section of
    Mai Aini refugee camp being designated to house over 1,000 unaccompanied children. This camp layout discouraged more family and community-based child protection responses, with the general refugee community considering the ‘group-care children’ as predominately the responsibility of the international community and local authorities. To overcome this, an inte- grated shelter layout was designed for a newly opened camp, whereby UAC live side by side with families who agree to support the children, in communities of 8 shelters facing each other with communal space in the middle (instead of rows of shelters) to facilitate social interactions.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Access to education
  • Hungary
  • As minors, the residents of the UAM shelter are required by Hungarian law to attend school until they are 18 years old. Initially, the young people attend Hungarian classes provided on site. There have been challenges in getting these young people into the local school system. However, in partnership with a small NGO, the shelter has now developed a relationship with one of the local schools to create a class for UAMs with a dedicated teacher. The class focuses on Hungarian and maths; however, individual learning plans are developed to have these students work through the standardised exams used to graduate students through the first 8 years of school in Hungary. It is only after passing these exams that students can enrol in secondary school in Hungary. At the end of the 2008 school year, the first eight UAM students graduated in this way, allowing them to enter a secondary education scheme for refugees in Budapest.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Migrants
  • Children
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Supporting recovery for trafficking survivors in the Netherlands
  • Netherlands
  • In the Netherlands, under the “B9 procedure”, (presumed) victims of trafficking are granted a reflection period of three months “at the slightest indication” that he or she might be a victim of trafficking. The reflection period is meant to allow the (presumed) victim to start recovering and to make an informed decision about cooperation with the authorities. During the reflection period the (presumed) victim has access to safe housing, psychological, medical, material and legal aid. It is the responsibility of the police to inform the victim about the B9 procedure. If, after this period, the victim decides to cooperate in the prosecution of the traffickers, he or she is granted a temporary residence permit for the duration of the criminal proceedings until the end of the trial, to be renewed each year. The statement of the victim with the police is automatically considered to be an application for such temporary residence permit, on which the IND has to decide within 24 hours. The temporary residence permit provides access to the labour market and to social welfare, legal, medical and psychological assistance on the same footing as Dutch nationals.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Trafficked
  • All
  • Bail program in Canada
  • Canada
  • Toronto Bail Program - see Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Enforcement Manual 20 – Detention Section 5.12. Under contract with the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Toronto Bail Program (TBP), a non-profit entity, operates to support immigration detainees, including asylum-seekers and persons awaiting removal, to be released from detention via bail. The TBP acts as the “bondsperson” for those who have no family or other eligible guarantors to pay bond and in this way, removes the financial discrimination inherent in other bail systems. Under the TBP, no payment is made, rather asylum-seekers are released on the basis of the TBP’s guarantee. The TBP carries out interviews to assess suitability of candidates for their supervision. Asylum-seekers agree voluntarily to cooperate with TBP and all immigration procedures, including any reporting conditions set by the TBP. As per the contract signed between the asylum-seeker and the TBP, they agree to appear for all appointments, to notify the TBP of a change of address and to participate in meaningful activities while in Canada (e.g. education, vocational training, work). Reporting requirements generally reduce as trust is established between TBP and the asylum-seeker. Unannounced visits to the asylum-seeker’s residence may be organized by the TBP. Failure to comply with reporting obligations may result in the TPB informing the provincial authorities, in which case the person would be placed under a Canada-wide arrest warrant. TBP makes it explicit that failure to report may result in return to detention.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Reception centre for asylum seekers in Mexico
  • Mexico
  • The Albergue Belen is a semi-open reception centre known as Casas del Migrante in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico. The centre aims at creating an atmosphere where migrants are treated with dignity and respect. The Albergue Belen provides reception services such as, inter alia, temporary accommodation, food, non-food items, psycho-social services to migrants travelling through or arriving in Tapachula. Some specific arrangements are made for asylums seekers as per an agreement with UNHCR Mexico and in 2008 the centre opened a specific area for victims of trafficking. The services provided at the centre are crucial in a location like Tapachula, known to be a problematic area of human smuggling and organized crime.” Note: Some mixed views on this by NGOs. Ref: UNHCR (2009). 10-Point Plan expert round table no. 2: "Different people, different needs"
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Transit
  • Pre-Removal processes for refused asylum seekers in Canada
  • Canada
  • Although not specifically designed to address the needs of children, asylum seekers whose cases have been rejected and who are expected to depart Canada can apply for protection under the Pre-Removal Risk Assessment process. This process takes into consideration a change in circumstances in asylum seekers’ countries of origin, new information demonstrating that asylum seekers will be at risk of persecution, torture or to cruel, inhuman or unusual treatment or punishment, or the possibility that asylum seekers’ lives may be otherwise endangered should they be compelled to leave Canada. The PRRA is not an appeal against earlier decisions and consideration is given only to new information or evidence. The PRRA decision is usually made on the papers. Only a very small percentage of applicants are granted the right to remain in Canada under the PRRA.
  • Practice
  • Case Management
  • Case resolution
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Conditions including designated address in Lithuania
  • Lithuania
  • In Lithuania, meanwhile, the Pabrade Foreigners Registration Centre contains both detainees and non-detainees. Oddly, therefore, it is both a place of detention and an alternative to detention. There is segregation of detainees and non-detainees, but similar services are provided to both groups. Detainees are only able to exit with permission and escort, whereas those not detained are able to leave unsupervised for a period of up to 72 hours upon notifying the management. For those asylum seekers in the full determination procedure and for children, accommodation in a more open centre (Rukla Reception Centre) is also possible, and those not in need of State support may live independently with relative ease. While there are no specific statistics on compliance with the Lithuanian system (and the number of applicants in total is currently small), it can be noted that only ten per cent of cases in 2002 and 40 per cent in 2003 were classed as ‘terminated’. As cases may be terminated for reasons other than absconding, this represents the upper limit of those that might have done so, and compares well with Hungarian figures, for example. The percentage of claimants who are detained and therefore unable to abscond must of course be taken into account when directly comparing the effectiveness of national systems. Also, the relevant legislation in Lithuania is only two years old, so it may be too soon to fully evaluate the regime’s effectiveness.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Migrants
  • All
  • Transit
  • Open houses for families departing Belgium
  • Belgium
  • Open housing facilities (“family identification and return units”, or “family units”) for undocumented families living in Belgium, families who apply for asylum at the border, as well as asylum-seeking families under the Dublin Regulations. Each family is assigned a “coach”, who is in effect a case manager, employed by the Belgian Immigration Department. Coaches are responsible for providing families with individual and holistic support. This support centres on helping families to achieve case resolution, whether this is a right of residence in Belgium, or return with dignity if they are found to have no legal basis to remain. In Belgium, the centralised ‘Fedasil’ system, which provides asylum seekers with accommodation, is not specifically designed to improve compliance. The different types of accommodation provided – collective centres or private flats – are allocated based on need rather than on an asylum seeker’s risk of absconding, and an asylum seeker is not considered to have absconded until he or she fails to appear for five days or fails to collect his or her financial assistance. In accordance with the incoming EU Directive, judicial oversight of a decision to assign someone to a place of accommodation is available, so that an applicant can be granted an exemption in exceptional circumstances. A large percentage of asylum seekers are believed to abscond during the Belgian asylum procedure,144 though far fewer in the earlier stages now that the transit route to the UK has been made less accessible.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • Open return centres with reporting requirements in Germany
  • Germany
  • In Germany, special return centres (‘Ausreisezentren’) have been established in a few federal States to accommodate undocumented illegal migrants, including persons found not to be in need of international protection and who refuse to return. Persons of the above-mentioned category are ordered to take up residence in these Centres, which are formally open. The residents, however, have to report on a regular basis (e.g. three times per week) and they are informed about their legal situation in regular conversations with a view to obtaining their cooperation in the administrative process and encouraging their departure from Germany. The standard of amenities in such Centres is generally set at a level that also acts as a disincentive to remain in Germany – that is, only basic needs are met.177 Nongovernmental critics of this policy call for a greater use of the concept of ‘supported voluntary return’ – meaning the provision of counselling and incentives, including financial and practical assistance and vocational training, to promote mandatory return with the consent and cooperation of the person to be returned. This concept has seen a revival recently in Germany, with several projects at the Länder or district level, in most cases jointly carried out with various nongovernmental partners and co-funded by the European Refugee Fund. These projects are succeeding in minimising the use of pre-deportation detention, but also helping people see when return home may be in their best interests, and to make this a dignified process.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • All
  • Reception centres for asylum seekers in Greece
  • Greece
  • In Greece, there are open reception centres and several hostels run by the Red Cross (three centres), Médicins du Monde, and other agencies (ELINAS, Social Solidarity, Voluntary Work of Athens). If an asylum seeker is assigned to the centre in Lavrio, he or she must obtain permission for any absences, and if he or she leaves without permission, his or her asylum claim will be suspended. There are some problems with dispersal and assignment to the more remote centres, with people choosing instead to move to Athens despite their destitution. In 2002, when there were 5,600 new asylum applications in Greece, 697 applicants (12 per cent) failed to appear for their interviews at either the first or second instance and, as a consequence, had their cases suspended then later closed. Similar percentages have occurred over the past several years. Despite the fact that Greece is a major country of transit, this is a relatively low rate of non-appearance and suggests that provision of adequate reception assistance, even in a very open system, can effectively raise the rate of procedural compliance
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Transit