an accompanied/separated child

Zasady postępowania z dziećmi pozbawionymi opieki w procedurach azylowych – kilka uwag na tle zalecanego standardu międzynarodowego

Author: Marta Szuniewicz-Stępień
Institution: Akademia Marynarki Wojennej im. Bohaterów Westerplatte w Gdyni
Year of publication: 2016
Source: Show
Pages: 186-218
DOI Address:
PDF: tpn/11/TPN2016210.pdf

Children separated from their families who are seeking international protection are in a threefold jeopardize: as minors, as refugees, and as persons deprived of their protectors. They need prompt and comprehensive protection not only during asylum procedures but also in all aspects of life normally provided by parents, such as but not being limited to: shelter, food, medical care and education. This article aims to examine and evaluate the recommendations and guidelines pertinent to the unaccompanied children as adopted at international level by the international organizations (UN with special regard to UNHCR and UNICEF, the Council of Europe and the European Union), intergovernmental organization (the International Committee of the Red Cross) and specialized NGOs (eg. Save the Children) and, subsequently, to reconstruct a recommended standard of treatment of the separated children in the course of asylum proceedings. The result of said examination and evaluation are model rules of treatment of separated minor aliens applying for a refugee status in the European countries. It encompasses the following provisions: 1) adoption of sufficiently wide and flexible interpretation of prerequisites required for being granted a refugee status, with special regard to additional factors such as age and special forms of child prosecution; 2) appointment of a legal representative for a separated child in asylum procedure; 3) adoption of appropriate hearing procedures suitable for age of the applicant; 4) introduction of facilitations in asylum proceedings and liberalization of the evidence requirements, including the principle of the benefit of doubt; 5) assertion of an effective right to participate in asylum procedure; 6) to prioritize the applications regarding the separated children; 7) a proper training of persons dealing with the separated children seeking international protection and their applications. The review of the laws and practice of the European countries enables the Author to indicate the main problems with implementation of the international standard of treatment of the separated children and to assess the relevant provisions of the amended Act of 13 June 2003 on granting protection to aliens within the territory of the Republic of Poland.

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