Children who migrate with their parents face unique challenges and vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s crucial that their right to express their views is fully implemented in international protection procedures. This inform provides an overview of how the right of accompanied children to be heard is being implemented in EMN Member Countries and Norway, including good practices, challenges, and lessons learned.
In 2021, approximately 190 000 international protection applications were filed for minors, most of whom were accompanied children. Only a small portion of these applications – around 10%- were for unaccompanied minors. Processing international protection applications for accompanied children can be particularly challenging, as there may be conflicting interests at play. In some cases, children may be reluctant to share certain information in front of their parents or responsible adults, or vice versa, parents may not want certain information to be disclosed by the child. This can be especially difficult in situations involving child abuse. It is therefore crucial that we gain a better understanding of when and how accompanied children are heard in international protection procedures, as well as the regulations surrounding these procedures.