On 11 May 2020, the Fundamental Rights Agency published a report entitled “Relocation of unaccompanied children: applying good practices to future schemes”.
The report analyses examples of good practice implemented in the relocation schemes both by European Union and Member States, including the European Emergency Relocation Mechanism, the bilateral arrangements for unaccompanied children, and voluntary relocation for people rescued at sea.
The guidance touches on all aspects relating to relocation procedure, starting from the coordination of the different stakeholders involved in the procedure to the actual transfer and life in the new country. Inter alia, the report highlighted the necessity to establish common and non-discriminatory eligibility criteria applied by all Member States, the use of the age assessment only in case of doubt, and the fundamental role played by the guardian in the child’s support and representation, keeping always as cornerstone the best interest of the child and their view and consent. The report also calls on the EU and Member States to consider measures such as, inter alia, the use of reasonable timelines for relocation of unaccompanied children, ensuring children are supported by a legal guardian at all stages of relocation, and family unity is maintained or facilitated when in the best interests of the child.