Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the Proposal to amend Dublin III for unaccESCompanied minors

Friday, January 23, 2015

The EESC has issued an Opinion on the Commission proposal to amend the Dublin III Regulation for unaccompanied minors in which it supports the proposal but also notes that the complexity of administrative, judicial and other systems in Member States as well as the lack of information provided may leave children in a situation of legal uncertainty, or even stateless.

The Opinion further notes, with regards to the “best interests of the child,” that no clarification is given in the proposal as to how and by whom the welfare of the child is to be established. Thus, the EESC recommends that an independent authority and not immigration authorities should determine the best interests. In addition, the Opinion states that all personnel should be trained to respect children’s rights and that the ending of child detention, both of unaccompanied and accompanied minors, should be addressed as an urgent priority.

The Opinion goes onto note that Commission amendments relating to the provision of information needs to be properly explained, that a legal guardian should be a qualified representative, that there is a need for a more comprehensive definition of ‘unaccompanied children in an irregular migrant situation’ and that any age assessment is done in the minor’s best interests. Finally the EESC stresses the importance of co-operation and consultation with civil society experts, legal professionals and practitioners with experience in the field of migrant children.

23 January 2015                                 

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Dublin Transfer
Unaccompanied minor
European Economic and Social Committee