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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
  • Right to education for non-citizen children (multiple countries)
  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Thailand
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • The fundamental right of all children to education, regardless of their legal status, is recognized in Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Italy, Spain, Thailand, the Netherlands and Uruguay. In France, there is a ministerial circular to the same effect.

    Italy guarantees to migrant children the right to education, regardless of their status, on the same terms as Italian children. The 1998 Immigration Act integrates the right to education in national legislation. It provides for the compulsory education of migrant children, the teaching of Italian, and the promotion of the culture and language of the countries of origin of migrant children.

    Chile guarantees access to public education to migrant children and adolescents, regardless of their migration status (Ministry of Education, Ordinary Communication N°07/1008 of 2005).In 2016, a new procedure was established to facilitate the enrolment of irregular migrant children

    The US Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Plyler v. Doe case in 1982, that it was a violation of the Constitution to deny irregular migrant children free compulsory education under the same conditions as citizens and regular migrant children. The legal ruling has been complemented by guidelines, for instance those produced by the National School Boards Association and the National Education Association, regarding legal issues and specific schools. A number of States have fully implemented this ruling to include access to other school-based services, such as free and reduced-price meals and educational assistance for children with learning disabilities.

    In 2005, Thailand’s Ministry of Education instructed school directors to enrol all children, including irregular migrant children, so they could access free basic education.
  • Law
  • Minimum Standards
  • Respect of fundamental rights
  • Undocumented or irregular migrants
  • Children
  • Peru offers work and study permit to Venezuelan asylum seekers
  • Peru
  • An erosion of Venezuela’s socio-political stability coupled with a rise in State repression – and further exacerbated by shortages of food and medicine – has left Venezuelans seeking safety and security in neighbouring countries. Peru’s introduction of a new work and study permit for Venezuelan asylum seekers has been hailed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as ‘an example for the region of how States can protect migrants who are in a vulnerable situation by regularising migration’. The Permiso Temporal de Permanencia (PTP) is a work and study permit provided exclusively to Venezuelan citizens for a period of one year, with the possibility of renewal. Over 10,000 Venezuelans have been approved for the new program, assuring them freedom of movement, personal liberty and self-reliance. While it is important that Peru continue to assess Venezuelan asylum-seeker claims and apply formal protection instruments under the Cartagena Declaration, the PTP represents a successful and positive alternative to detention.
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • 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
  • Work permit program for refugees in Jordan
  • Jordan
  • In January 2016 at Davos, the forum for global business, Queen Rania of Jordan acclimatised CEOs to the idea that corporate social responsibility to refugees did not mean diverting some profits into sending blankets; rather, it meant putting their core skills to use by integrating them into global supply chains. In the context of emerging business interest in solutions to the refugee crisis, a range of manufacturing company CEOs began to take notice. The formal launch of the pilot project came as part of the London conference on Syrian refugees on 4 February 2016. The basic deal on the table – called the Jordan Compact – was that Jordan would receive around $2bn (£1.6bn) in assistance and investment. In exchange, it would offer up to 200,000 work permits to Syrians. One of the main vehicles for this would be through a series of five new Special Economic Zones, in which refugees would be employed alongside Jordanian nationals, partly building upon existing development areas.
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Refugees
  • All
  • Transit
  • 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
  • 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
  • Time limit reduces the numbers of children and their families in detention in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • Published Home Office detention policy sets out a a series of groups of vulnerable individuals who are only considered suitable for detention in very exceptional circumstances. : Where a decision is taken to detain someone falling into one of these categories, they would be detained alongside individuals not considered to be vulnerable. The UK does not have accommodation specifically set aside within immigration removal centres for detainees who might be considered vulnerable. Families with children under 18 being returned are only detained as a last resort where they have failed to cooperate with attempts to encourage them to leave the UK voluntarily. They are held at Cedars Pre-Departure Accommodation for the last few days before their removal from the UK, which is a dedicated facility specifically for families with children . The duration of stay at the PDA is limited to 72 hours prior to the family's planned removal date, though there provision for them to remain for up to seven days in exceptional circumstances, subject to Ministerial approval. Families live in their own self-contained apartments at Cedars, with a lower level of security than would be found in an IRC. Cedars is run by the private contractor G4S in conjunction with the children's charity Barnardoâs, which provides welfare support to families there.
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Fair and timely case resolution
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • 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
  • Business-led refugee resettlement program
  • Australia
  • In September 2015, the Australian Government announced an additional one-off allocation of 12,000 resettlement places for Syrian and Iraqi refugees.125 This announcement inspired the Friendly Nation Initiative,
a business-led project which seeks to improve employment pathways for refugees resettled from overseas. The Initiative was developed by Tony Shepherd, former President of the Business Council of Australia, and Carla Wilshire, CEO of the Migration Council Australia. The Friendly Nation Initiative aims to help Syrian refugees and employment as quickly as possible after arrival. Businesses can support the Initiative in a range of ways: as ‘Corporate Mates’, through raising funds, hosting cultural awareness seminars and participating in corporate volunteering and mentoring programs; as ‘Corporate Mentors’, through offering industry mentoring, retraining or assistance with skills recognition, and donating services such as banking support and business planning; or as ‘Corporate Champions’, through providing employment training programs, sponsoring projects and programs to assist refugees to settle and develop skills, and recruiting other businesses to participate in the Initiative. The Friendly Nation Initiative has been met with an enthusiastic response from Australian businesses and industry groups. It has been supported by the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as major companies such as Wesfarmers, Woolworths and Harvey Norman.
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Alternative to detention pilot project in Japan
  • Japan
  • In Japan, following a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Immigration Bureau, the Forum for Refugees Japan (FRJ) and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA), a new framework has been established for the improvement of the asylum system, including the issue of detention of asylum-seekers. As part of an alternative to detention pilot project, identified cases are referred by the Immigration Bureau to the FRJ. Eligible persons include those who could possibly be granted either landing permission for temporary refuge, provisional release, or permission for provisional stay. FRJ, after consideration of the cases, identifies accommodation and appoints a case manager. FRJ provides assistance such as psychological counselling and secures access to education and medical care; JFBA provides free legal assistance to asylum-seekers.
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • Legal status and social assistance to asylum seekers in Chile
  • Chile
  • In Chile, once an asylum-seeker has lodged an asylum application, he/she is issued with a renewable temporary stay permit, valid for eight months with the entitlement to work. Based on an agreement signed between the Department of Social Action under the Ministry of Interior and Public Security and the Fundación de Ayuda Social de las Iglesias Cristianas, UNHCR partner organisation, a comprehensive social assistance scheme is organized to facilitate the integration of asylum-seekers and refugees into local social and economic structures. The programme comprises: assistance for asylum-seekers and accompanying family members, an integration scheme for refugees, and services for vulnerable persons and cases with specific protection profiles. In particular, the assistance programme aims to cover basic needs for the duration of the asylum procedure, in particular food, housing (including furniture), documentation and transportation. Over the first three months of his/her stay in Chile, the applicant is entitled to full support. The amount provided respectively decreases to 75 per cent after three months and 50 per cent after six months. The support normally ends after twelve months, but the implementing agency can request the Department of Social Action to extend the support owing to special circumstances
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • 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
  • Humanitarian residence permit in Hungary
  • Hungary
  • Tolerated stay /"Exile" status under Act II of 2007 on the Entry and Stay of Third-Country Nationals (entered into force on 1 July 2007, hereinafter: RRTN). A residence permit on humanitarian grounds is issued to the person who has been granted the status of exile by Hungary. The validity period of a residence permit granted on humanitarian grounds shall be one year that may be extended by a maximum of one year at a time and under Art 29 (3) of RRTN a residence permit on humanitarian grounds shall be withdrawn if any requirement for issue is no longer satisfied; the third-country national in question has disclosed false information or untrue facts to the competent authority in the interest of obtaining the right of residence; or the withdrawal is requested by the authority or body on whose initiative it was for some other reason. Exiles shall be entitled to receive provisions under the scope of personal care, including financial provisions and financial assistance
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • 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
  • Temporary residence permits for people unable to depart Finland
  • Finland
  • Under Section 51 of the Aliens Act, aliens residing in Finland are issued with a temporary residence permit if they cannot be returned to their home country or country of permanent residence for temporary reasons of health or if they cannot actually be removed from the country. Temporary residence permits pursuant to Section 51 of the Aliens Act are granted for a period of one year at a time. Aliens granted temporary residence permits on such grounds have a restricted right to employment under Section 80, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 6 of the Aliens Act. Pursuant to Se ction 54, Paragraph 5 of the Aliens Act, aliens who have been issued with a temporary residence permit under Section 51 be cause he or she cannot be removed from the country are issued with a continuous residence permit after a continuous residence of two years in the co untry if the circumstances on the basis of which the alien was issued with the previous fixed-term permit are still valid
  • Law
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Undocumented or irregular migrants
  • All
  • 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 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
  • Time limit reduces the numbers of children and their families in detention in the United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom
  • "There will always be a need to hold families with children at the border while enquiries are made as to whether they may be admitted and/or while they await a return flight. The power to hold families with children is in Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971.17 5.2 Children are usually held at the border because officials believe that the children’s best interests are served better by remaining with the family group until a decision on admission is made. However, detention is exceptional and can only be authorised by a senior Border Force official. The family is held for the shortest possible time, usually in a holding room at the port of entry. The maximum period that a family can be held in a holding room is 24 hours. Where possible, families are held separately from other passengers. The Panel has again visited several of these holding rooms during this reporting period and still considers the use of some of them for anything more than a few hours to be inappropriate. ... If a family is to be held overnight or for longer than 24 hours, they are normally moved to Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre which has a separate family unit which has been refurbished to a high specification. This decision must be authorised by a Director and for a stay beyond 72 hours ministerial authority must be gained. Border Force claim these and other measures which have been in force since August 2010 have seen a fall in the numbers of children and families being held at the border and where families have been held they have been held for shorter periods. Unfortunately the Panel has no way of challenging or supporting this assertion"
  • Policy
  • Minimum Standards
  • Regular review of placement decisions
  • Returnees / Deportees
  • Children
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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