EU News: Conference on unaccompanied minors

Save the Children and the Ministry of Justice are hosting a joint conference on unaccompanied minors arriving in Europe. This conference will focus on the exchange of experiences on unaccompanied minors and participants will discuss future challenges and practical tools. The conference will take place on the 18th and 19th of June 2012.

In 2011, approximately 11.800 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in the EU. In connection with the Danish EU Presidency, Save the Children and the Ministry of Justice are now bringing into focus the issue of unaccompanied minors who arrive in Europe. At the conference representatives from the EU member states, a number of international organizations and the Commission will meet to exchange experiences, discuss challenges and practical tools.
The conference will also look at questions on ensuring the best interests of the child during the examination of a minor´s case and the appointment of representatives for unaccompanied minors. Other important topics such as tracing family members in the country of origin and experiences on reintegration programs in connection with return will also be discussed.
"Every year thousands of unaccompanied minors from third countries travel to Europe. We are talking about minors arriving in Europe without their parents or other adults and who often seek asylum. Of course these minors have some very special needs. By hosting this conference the Danish Presidency brings into focus a number of central questions on unaccompanied minors, whose interests should be taken care of in the best possible manner. At the conference we are going to exchange experiences, discuss future challenges and practical tools." says the Minister of Justice Morten Bødskov.
This opinion is shared by the General Secretary of Save the Children in Denmark, Mimi Jacobsen. She says, "Unaccompanied children are a particularly vulnerable group because they are arriving in a foreign country without their parents. The majority have fled from wars, conflicts or other difficult and dramatic living conditions and some have even experienced the loss of family along the way. These children have the right to special protection. We are looking forward to sharing our experiences and discuss how we ensure these children a future and the best possible protection all over Europe."
The conference on unaccompanied minors will take place in Fællessalen in the Danish Parliament. The conference will be opened by the Minister of Justice, Morten Bødskov and the General Secretary of Save the Children in Denmark, Mimi Jacobsen.
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