What Rights and Realities at 18?
Regional seminar to develop inter-sectorial cooperation in assisting
refugees and asylum-seekers in transition to adulthood.
2-3 November 2015
European Youth Centre Budapest, Hungary
Call for Participants
Policies and practices in Council of Europe member states governing the transition to adulthood for unaccompanied and separated asylum-seeking and refugee children have been identified as a major concern by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Youth Department and the UNHCR.
The Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons presented the report ‘Migrant Children: What Rights at 18?’in March 2014. In May that year the Parliamentary Assembly endorsed the report and adopted during their plenary session the resolution 1996 (2014)under the same title.
Work on the report and resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly has been supported by the efforts of the Youth Sector of the Council of Europe and the UNHCR for the rights of Young Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Europe since 2006. The first joint seminar ‘Being a Young Refugee in Europe Today’ from 5 to 12 December 2006 at the European Youth Centre Strasbourg contributed to the establishment of the European Youth Network of Young refugees and Asylum-seekers ‘Voices of Young Refugees Europe’ (VYRE). Various seminars and training courses followed.
From 2 to 4 March 2010, the two organisations held a seminar on working with young refugees and the ways forward, which aimed at developing a common approach for promoting young refugees within the agenda of the Council of Europe. That meeting underlined, amongst other things, the need to "recognise young refugees, asylum seekers and other youths in need of humanitarian protection aged 18-30 years old as a group with specific needs within European society".
In 2011 and 2012 the Youth Department organised two consultative meetings on the ‘challenges faced by young refugees and asylum seekers in accessing their social rights and their integration, while in transition to adulthood’. Shared experiences in those meetings made it very clear that policies addressing the needs of refugees and asylum seeking children do not correlate with other refugees and asylum-seekers policies in a given country. The challenges of unaccompanied and separated refugee and asylum-seeking children are generally acknowledged and national policies are in line with international treaties such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Young Refugees and Asylum seekers between 18 and 25 are however not acknowledged as a group with specific needs and the transition from one legal regime to the other can be particularly harsh.
Profile of participants
The regional seminar will invite representatives of state agencies, representative of NGO’s and young refugees and asylum-seekers from Central Europe who are:
- working on issues effecting unaccompanied and separated refugee and asylum-seeking children in transition to adulthood.
- committed to seek cooperation with other stakeholders working for unaccompanied and separated refugee and asylum-seeking children in transition to adulthood
- in a position to disseminate the outcomes of the seminar among the colleagues in their organisation, agencies and networks and other stakeholders.
- available for the full duration of the 2 day seminar 2-3 November 2015.
The regional seminar will also be attended by representatives of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assemble and Youth Department and the UNHCR representation to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, their regional office in Central Europe and UNHCR national offices.
Procedure for applications
All those interested to attend the regional seminar and that fit the profile of participants should complete the application form attached to this call and return it to Menno Ettema at email@example.com by 18 September 2015.
Applicants will be informed about the decision concerning their application by 30 September.
Further information regarding the regional seminar contact Menno Ettema, Youth Department of the Council of Europe at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or William Ejalu, UNHCR Regional Representation to Central Europe at: email@example.com.