The third issue of the biannual newsletter of the 4OneAnother project is available! In this third edition, we invite you to discover the results of the actions carried out in this project, which aims at improving the integration of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) in Europe and Belgium. On the menu, the outcomes of the transnational meeting in Thessaloniki (Greece) and the unveiling of the content of the training course in preparation.
"What to do with this young person?". When young immigrants arrive in Belgium, a crucial question arises for the authorities: are they of age or minors ? Depending on the category they belong to, the young persons will be subject to different legal regimes that will provide them with more or less rights, protection and support during the administrative and integration processes.
If their application for residence is accepted and they are considered adult, migrants will typically receive less support from society and will have to solve the difficulties of finding housing, training, employment, or claiming their fundamental rights themselves. This is the case even when the child is only 18 years and one day old.
In Belgium, the State does typically not apply the presumption of minority: In case of doubt, a young person is considered mature enough to fend for themselves rather than being considered a child. This is despite the fact that the age estimation tests used by FEDASIL are highly questionable.
In September 2021, a young Guinean woman started a procedure against Belgium at the European Court of Human Rights. She complains that Belgium wrongly considered her to be of age. End of June 2022, two opinions were submitted by two specialized Ghent University centres at the request of the ECHR. Their conclusion is without appeal: by its archaic methods of age assessment, Belgium contravenes both European and international directives concerning the reception of unaccompanied foreign minors.
PLS and the 4OneAnother project
Faced with this situation, POUR LA SOLIDARITÉ-PLS stands in solidarity with the fate of migrants and asylum seekers on European soil. A commitment that is manifested by its participation in the 4OneAnother project which aims at the creation of a training to support frontline actors working in the reception and support of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). After their transnational meeting at the premises of United Societies of Balkans (USB) in Thessaloniki, Greece, the project partners defined the main modules of the future training:
- Presentation of the specificities of the UASC public
- The legislative framework at the level of the partner countries as well as at the European level
- Societal integration (school, work, etc.)
- Intercultural competences
- Integration of the gender dimension, equality and non-discrimination
- Support for the emotional problems of minors
- Guardianship, foster care, transition to adulthood