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  • 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
  • Legal status registration programme for undocumented people in Pakistan
  • Pakistan
  • A new pilot project in Pakistan to register undocumented Afghan refugees – who up to now have been without identity papers and living in fear of being arrested or deported – would allow up to one million people to have legal status, the United Nations refugee said. ... The six-month registration programme started yesterday in the capital Islamabad and Peshwar, in the north-west, which hosts the largest number of undocumented Afghans. The programme is expected to be rolled out throughout the country starting on 16 August. Afghans registered under the new scheme receive Afghan Citizen cards, which allow them to legally stay in Pakistan until the Government of Afghanistan can issue them passports and other documents, and provides protections under Pakistani law. The registration project comes after three years of consultations between the Governments, and is part of Pakistan's Comprehensive Policy on the Repatriation and Management of Afghans, which was endorsed by its cabinet in February this year. “I am feeling confident that I will have at least some sort of identity while in Pakistan,” Mohammad Rehman, who was born and raised in Pakistan to Afghan parents, told UNHCR. “If the police arrest me now, at least I will be released without much trouble.”
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Formal status and documentation
  • Refugees
  • All
  • Transit
  • Group homes for unaccompanied refugee children in Spain
  • Spain
  • The regional government of Andalusia last year became the first in Spain to host unaccompanied Syrian refugee children such as Mahmud. Since September, it has welcomed eight youngsters aged 15 to 17 – six boys and two girls – all relocated from Greece. The aim was to provide a safe, nurturing environment in a residential setting with social, health, education and culture and leisure resources designed to “favour their social development” and help them feel integrated. ... Now they live at a group home in a quiet backstreet where the loudest sound is a trilling canary. The youngsters share spotless rooms, sit together for meals and attend secondary schools, in a project run by the regional government of Andalusia and supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. ... The children are offered after-school activities as part of the effort to integrate them into the town of 60,000 inhabitants south of the provincial capital, Granada. These range from Spanish evening classes at the Club UNESCO Motril, where Bienvenido teaches, to work experience and volunteering.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Holistic care for unaccompanied children in Italy
  • Italy
  • The Zampa law, as the new measure is known, is the first comprehensive act for unaccompanied children in Italy. It calls for a series of measures - fully aligned with UNICEF recommendations - to protect refugee and migrant children, including: Unaccompanied and separated foreign children will not be subjected to “refoulement” or returns that may cause them harm; Reduce the time these children spend in first-line reception centres; Promote guardianship for children by using trained volunteers from the regional child and youth agency and promote foster care and host families for children; Harmonize and improve procedures for age assessment in a child-sensitive manner; Establish a structured and streamlined national reception system, with minimum standards in all reception facilities; Roll out extensive use of qualified cultural mediators* to communicate and interpret needs of vulnerable adolescents. The new law includes additional budgetary provisions on top of €600 million which the Government of Italy had already allocated in 2016 to municipalities, groups and caregivers to help them cope with the large influx of refugees and migrants in reception centres.
  • Policy
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • 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
  • 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
  • Refugees
  • 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
  • Holistic care for unaccompanied refugee children in Thailand
  • Thailand
  • The Bangkok Child Protection program is implemented through a partnership between UNHCR and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Thailand. Initially established as a three-month pilot project in 2014, the program aims to respond to the needs of unaccompanied, separated and other vulnerable children residing in Bangkok through providing best interests assessments, referrals to service providers and emergency assistance. There are currently 162 children receiving support through the program. Once a child is registered with the program, a caseworker conducts best interests assessments (based on an interview and home visit) to determine the child’s basic needs and identify protection gaps. Relevant support is then provided through referrals for financial, medical, educational or legal support. The program also organises recreational, educational, and psychosocial activities, as well as opportunities to participate in training courses and workshops. The Bangkok Child Protection program operates in a challenging legal, social and cultural context. Thailand
is not party to the Refugee Convention and lacks a legal and administrative framework for refugee protection. The unstable political environment, the complexity of case management for vulnerable and often traumatised children, and the lack of ongoing support options for young people who have turned 18 pose further challenges. Nonetheless, the support provided through the program plays an important role in assisting asylum seeker and refugee children to survive and meet their basic needs in this difficult context.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Basic needs
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Holistic support for refugee children in Austria
  • Austria
  • In Austria, SOS Children’s Villages has 15 years of professional experience in providing quality care to refugee children and supporting their integration. To respond to the current refugee crisis in Europe, SOS Children’s Villages Austria has been creating customized places for 300 children in newly established facilities since 2015, offering a range of alternative care options: small group homes, semi-independent living, foster care, integration and specialised education programmes. Recently, a group home in Linz was established to accommodate 15 unaccompanied refugees. Native-speaking psychiatrists and therapists, as well as professional interpreters, are available to support the children. The nearby public schools offer a great opportunity for the successful integration of the young refugees. SOS Children’s Villages Austria has also set up ‘Biwak’ living communities for unaccompanied refugee children between the ages of 12 and 18, who require a daily structure and specialised socio-pedagogical support. They stay at the ‘Biwak’ until the age of legal adulthood. Furthermore, SOS Children’s Villages Austria advocates for the right of all children to quality care and education, which is not equally ensured to refugee children by current leg- 8 11 islation. For example, compulsory schooling is provided by law for children aged 14-18, but not for young asylum seekers, because of their uncertain status.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community without conditions
  • Refugees
  • Children
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Information communication technology services for refugees in Serbia
  • Macedonia (FYROM)
  • Serbia
  • ICT services are essential in refugee centres. As a part of its emergency response, SOS Children’s Villages is helping to facilitate this need by setting up more SOS ICT Corners, offering free WiFi, computers, printing/scanning/copying services and charging stations for mobile phones and other electronic devices. Since the closing of the Balkan transit route in early March 2016, many children and young people have been stranded in refugee camps in Serbia and Macedonia. The ICT Corners offer them a place to connect to family members online. For 14-year-old Zafar8 from Afghanistan, who is traveling alone, coming to the SOS ICT Corner in the Serbian refugee centre gives him hope that he will reconnect with his mother and sister back home, with whom he has not had contact in over a month. ICT Corners are also useful for children and young people to gain computer literacy or play educational
    child-appropriate games, guided by SOS ICT staff. SOS Children’s Villages co-workers are teaching children and young people about MS Office and other useful applications. In addition, as a response to the needs of the children visiting the ICT Corners, co-workers are expanding their activities. A technician at the ICT Corner in Preševo, Serbia shares that he and his colleague have started teaching children to speak Serbian. “They are fast learners,” he says.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Refugees
  • Children
  • 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
  • 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
  • Refugees
  • 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
  • Refugees
  • Survivor of torture or trauma
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit
  • Assessing the quality of care for unaccompanied refugee children in India
  • India
  • Recognising the vulnerability of the approximate 500 unaccompanied and separated refugee children living in the sprawling Indian capital city of New Delhi and the lack of detailed information on their care arrangements and general protection environment, the operation and partners conducted a joint needs assessment. After a detailed preparation stage, a questionnaire was developed focusing on the alternative care environment as well as questions on health, education, livelihoods and tracing needs. A multi-disciplinary team of interviewers was assembled and training was conducted for staff with less child protection experience. Over the course of 8 days over 200 children agreed to participate in the assessment and were interviewed, ensuring of age, gender and diversity (AGD) were considered. At the end of the process the findings were presented to the refugee community through two focus group discussions as well as community animators working with refugee children. The assessment found that 48 per cent of the children had found their current care arrangement through the refugee community leaders and 89 per cent of those who participated in the assessment felt safe in their current care arrangements.
  • Practice
  • Minimum Standards
  • Respect of fundamental rights
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Refugee Camp Design Promotes Family Based Care in Ethiopia
  • Ethiopia
  • The Shire operation in Ethiopia in recent years has seen an average of around 100 unaccompanied children (UAC) arriving per month. Sheer numbers dictated that as a last resort, small group-care would have to be an interim option pending efforts to place children in family based care including reuni cation with their family members. A major struggle was the camp layout, with one section of
    Mai Aini refugee camp being designated to house over 1,000 unaccompanied children. This camp layout discouraged more family and community-based child protection responses, with the general refugee community considering the ‘group-care children’ as predominately the responsibility of the international community and local authorities. To overcome this, an inte- grated shelter layout was designed for a newly opened camp, whereby UAC live side by side with families who agree to support the children, in communities of 8 shelters facing each other with communal space in the middle (instead of rows of shelters) to facilitate social interactions.
  • Practice
  • Placement Options
  • Community with conditions
  • Refugees
  • Unaccompanied and Separated Children
  • Transit