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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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Legal presumption to release children from detention in the United States
  • United States of America
  • UNHCR also has engaged in litigation to challenge the detention of children. The office submitted an amicus brief, reiterating UNHCR’s position in the 2012 Detention Guidelines and in the Global Strategy, in the landmark case, Flores v. Lynch. In July 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in this case, affirming that a national settlement agreement applies to all children whether accompanied or unaccompanied by their parents. Thus, the current state of U.S. law has a presumption in favor of releasing minors, and imposes the following obligations on the immigration authorities: 1. The government is required to release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay to, in order of preference, parents, other adult relatives, or licensed programs willing to accept custody; 2. If a suitable placement is not immediately available, the government is obliged to place children in the “least restrictive” setting appropriate to their age and any special needs; 3. The government must implement standards relating to the care and treatment of children in custody.
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Prohibit the detention of vulnerable individuals
  • Asylum seekers
  • Children
  • 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
  • Legislation guarantees migrant children will not be placed in immigration detention in Mexico
  • Mexico
  • On December 2, 2015, the Mexican government took an important step forward in guaranteeing migrant children’s right to freedom by directly prohibiting immigration detention of children in the official regulations for the National Child Rights Law. Article 111.  At no time will migrant children or adolescents, regardless of whether or not they are traveling with adults, be deprived of their freedom in Immigration Stations or in any other immigration detention center (unofficial translation). The regulations establish national norms for the implementation of the Child Rights Law and represent significant progress in protection policies for refugee and migrant children. The regulations recognize that immigration detention is no place for children. Article 111 provides greater protection for migrant children’s freedom, going further than the current Immigration Law, which states that only children traveling without their parents or guardians should be transferred to the family welfare system (DIF) instead of being placed in immigration detention centers. Article 111 also requires that Mexico adopt and implement mechanisms to prevent children accompanied by their parents or guardians from being detained for immigration purposes. The Child Rights Law and Regulations also create a National Child Protection System with a new Federal Office for the Protection of Children’s Rights. The federal office, in coordination with the National Institute of Migration will be responsible for developing a protocol in order to ensure that immigration processes always put the best interests of the child first (Article 105 of the regulations). Furthermore, the Child Rights Law and Regulations mandates the creation of a database on migrant children, including information on if they were victims or witnesses of crime, as well as on possible international protection needs. Thus, the law and its regulations serve as part of an important legal and informational foundation from which to work toward eradicating immigration detention of children.
  • Policy
  • Liberty
  • Prohibit the detention of vulnerable individuals
  • Asylum seekers
  • Children
  • Transit
  • Law to prevent detention vulnerable populations from being detained in Turkey
  • Turkey
  • The Law on Foreigners and International Protection, ratified by the Turkish Parliament on 4 April 2014, does not under any circumstances, allow detention of: • UAM IP applicants (they are to be placed “by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies in suitable accommodation facilities, in the care of their adult relatives, or in the care of a foster family, upon taking into account the opinion of the unaccompanied minor” if they are over 16 they can be placed in reception centres); • identified victims of trafficking (the problem is that they are often not identified); international protection status holders; international protection applicants not covered by Art 65 (four criteria specifying when IP applicants can exceptionally be detained); • stateless individuals after their stateless status is determined and documented; • a number of vulnerable groups are exempt from deportation orders, which means they are also protected from detention: Includes: people who are at risk of torture/ill-treatment if expelled; risk in travel due to health, age, pregnancy; cannot receive treatment in country; identified victims of trafficking; & victims of serious psychological, physical or sexual violence, until their treatment is completed. For such persons, humanitarian residence permit is issued and they may be asked to reside at a certain address and carry out reporting at requested forms and periods.
  • Law
  • Liberty
  • Prohibit the detention of vulnerable individuals
  • Asylum seekers
  • Survivor of torture or trauma
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • France - assessment of asylum seekers for vulnerability factors i order to tailor reception conditions
  • France
  • A foreign national intending to claim asylum has to present him or herself to the Prefecture that is orienting him or her to a pre-reception office … The pre-reception office provides him or her with an asylum application form for the registration of his or her claim at the Prefecture. An appointment with the Prefecture is also arranged. In compliance with the recast Asylum Procedures Directive, this appointment should take place within 3 days after the asylum seeker has presented him or herself to the prereception office ... The registration of the claim is processed at the “single desk” (guichet unique) where the Prefecture and the French Office on Immigration and Integration (Office Français sur l’Immigration et l’Intégration - OFII) both have offices. The aim of the single desk is to register the asylum claim and, on the same day and in the same location, to conduct a vulnerability assessment that allows the OFII to offer tailored material reception conditions. Therefore, upon leaving the single desk, the asylum seeker has been granted an asylum claim certification (attestation de demande d’asile), that specifies if his or her claim has been channelled into a specific procedure, and has been proposed an accommodation place, when available.
  • Law
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Vulnerability
  • Asylum seekers
  • All
  • 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
  • Using exisiting child welfare systems to protect migrant children in Hungary
  • Hungary
  • Since May 2011, following the recommendations set out in a report of the Parliamentary Commissioner, UAM asylum seekers (UAMAS) and UAM beneficiaries of international protection have fallen within the scope of the general child protection regime and a child protection facility in Fót (‘Fót Children’s Home’) has been designated to host them. This change resulted in the qualification of UAMs, primarily, as children and only secondarily as migrants. UAMAS (and non-asylum seeking UAMs who are provided interim placement) have to thereafter be appointed a child protection guardian by the Guardianship Authority, who is legally responsible for the overall care, property management and legal representation of the minor. The child protection guardian is employed by the Department of Child Protection Services (TEGYESZ) and can ensure the guardianship of max. 30 children. Non-asylum seeking UAMs are accommodated in a child protection facility in Hódmezővásárhely run by the Catholic Church within the framework of a contract concluded with the Social and Child Protection Directorate. However, the limited capacity (18 UAMs) of the facility remains an issue. Age assessment must take place within 24 hours of detection of the UAM. It has been reported that the lack of uniform age assessment procedures may lead to the detention of UAMs. In case of doubt, until the minority of the UAM is confirmed, he/she is treated as an adult, thus may be accommodated either in an adult reception facility for asylum seekers or put in immigration/asylum detention if the conditions are met.
  • Policy
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Asylum seekers
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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