On December 10, 2014, International Organization for Migration (IOM) as the coordinator of EMN activities in Slovakia organized a conference on Protection and Care for Unaccompanied Children which was held under the auspices of the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic Ján Richter. Apart from national experts, the conference hosted speakers from Budapest, Dublin, Prague and Vienna who introduced service development and current model of care for unaccompanied minors, determination of the best interest of the child, individual risk assessment, age assessment and prevention of disappearance.
The conference was launched by the speech of Nadezda Sebova, General Director of the Section of Social and Family Policy of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic (MoLSAF SR). Subsequently together with Zuzana Vatráľová, Head of IOM Office in Slovakia, they welcomed the participants. In the first presentation on Unaccompanied Minors Worldwide and in the EU – Ensuring the Best Interests of the Child, Marie Wilson from the UNHCR Regional Representation Office for Central Europe in Budapest introduced along with the topic the publication elaborated by UNHCR and UNICEF Safe and Sound: what States can do to ensure respect for the best interests of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe which includes suggestions of measures for economically developed European countries in relation to the application of the best interest of the child.
The introductory part was followed by presentations of systems in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria, and Slovakia. Zuzana Chmelířová from Facility for Children of Foreign Nationals focused on the experience of the Czech Republic in the field of protection and care for unaccompanied minors while dealing with legislative and institutional framework, reception system and characteristics of this group of migrants in the Czech Republic. The Irish model of protection and care for unaccompanied minors was introduced by Thomas Dunning from TUSLA Child and Family Agency. Based on the reform of the Irish system, he also pointed out the way of dealing with the problem of disappearance of unaccompanied minors in Ireland coming from China. Norbert Ceipek from Drehscheibe – The Vienna Centre for Victims of Child-Traffic characterised the Austrian system through specific cases of unaccompanied minors. The Slovak system was described by Miroslava Mittelmannova based on the main findings of the national EMN study Policies, Practices and Statistics on Unaccompanied Minors in the Slovak Republic (Slovak version available here). Renata Brennerova from MoLSAF SR linked to her presentation while describing current situation and planned changes in the implementation of measures of social and legal protection of the child and social guardianship for unaccompanied minors in the Slovak Republic.
EMN Conference in the media:
Detskí migranti z konfliktných krajín utekajú bez sprievodu aj k nám - Teraz.sk, 10.12.2014
Photogallery of the conference
Presentations for download
Other documents for download
Conference press release (240 kB)