2 years after: Lessons learned on the protection of children on the move in Europe (Childhub webinar)

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Since the beginning of the so called "migrant and refugee crisis", many European countries have been facing difficulties while trying to cope with the crisis and effectively respond to the needs of the most vulnerable groups affected. Two years ago, ChildHub organized a webinar on the experience of Germany, as one of the top destination countries. Click here to listen to the whole webinar and learn about the German system and some of the challenges they had been experiencing.

Two years after, ChildHub gathered a pool of relevant experts from two top destination countries and a transit country, aiming to revisit this topic and shed a light on how the process of accepting and integrating one of the most vulnerable groups - unaccompanied minors - has been functioning and evolving. Speakers from Germany, Sweden and Serbia shared their experience, discussed how systems in their countries function, shared some of the good practices identified in the process as well as challenges still to be addressed.

The European Migration Network is currently producing a study on unaccompanied minors following status determination. Mr Jonas Hols from the Swedish Migration Agency drew on the national Swedish contribution to that study and in particular focused on the situation in Sweden after 2015, when 35,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum. He discussed recent changes to policy and practice, reception (care / accommodation arrangements) conditions, integration of unaccompanied minors and unaccompanied minors who disappear, as well as some of the challenges and good practices identified in the study.

During her presentation, Ms Nadja Lang shared her experience as a social pedagogue working on a daily basis with UAM in Berlin, providing them support and guidance from the moment they arrive to Berlin onwards, monitoring their progress and integration process. Ms Lang provided a short description on unaccompanied minors arriving in the youth welfare system in Berlin, challenges she experienced during her work, challenges those young people face and discussed how this could be addressed in the future.

Ms Anja Stefanović and Mr Bogdan Krasić from Belgrade Center for Human Rights focused on the position of unaccompanied and separated refugee children in the Republic of Serbia, the challenges that Serbian system faces regarding additional protection that unaccompanied children should be able to enjoy and gaps within it.

The webinar is of interest for both practitioners in public and civil sector who deal with unaccompanied minors, professionals who work with children on the move, as well as academics who are interested in migration, influence of the situation in the Western Balkan route on the flow of migrants towards Western Europe and comparative analyses of refugee policies.

Click here to watch the webinar: https://childhub.org/en/child-protection-webinars/2-years-after-lessons-...

About the presenters:

Jonas Hols joined the national contact point of the EMN (European Migration Network) in 2015. The EMN is a EU network of migration and asylum experts set up to provide objective, comparable, policy-relevant and up-to-date information on asylum and migration, for example by producing reports and studies and organising conferences. He has previously worked in various capacities at the Swedish Migration Agency, primarily in asylum/protection, and served in Russia for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Mr. Hols holds a Master’s in Political Science.

Nadja Lang received Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 2011. Ms. Lang is a social worker working with unaccompanied minors, and since 2016 also a founding member of the association Angehört (www.angehoert.org), specialized in providing the information to people in receiption centers about the interview during their asylum process.

Anja Stefanović and Bogdan Krasić have worked as the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) researchers for the past 3 years, mostly focusing on refugee rights. They have implemented projects in partnership with the UNHCR, International Rescue Committee, Dutch Refugee Council and Oxfam. Ms Stefanović previously gained experience in UN agencies in Serbia and Jordan. Mr Krasić was involved in activities that focused on refugee children and was the editor of the report "Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Serbia" that was published in 2017. Currently they are focused on challenges of integration of recognized refugees in Serbia.

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