Expert meeting discusses family tracing and Dublin Regulation

On 3-4 October FRA took part in the European Asylum Support Office’s expert meeting on family tracing and Dublin Regulation.

The aim of the meeting was to assess the impact of the new Dublin III Regulation on national approaches to family tracing. The meeting identified challenges faced by EU Member States in assessing the best interests of the child and the role of the child’s representative under the Regulation. FRA reminded participants of the need to preserve both the guardianship and legal advice functions required to adequately protect and grant access to justice of unaccompanied and separated children, especially those seeking asylum. The meeting was attended by EU Member States, the Commission, the UN’s Refugee Agency, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. The discussions should help feed the Commission’s delegated and implementing acts for the Regulation. This includes: regulating the identification of family members and the assessment of the capacity of relatives to take care of children - including where family members, siblings or relatives stay in more than one Member State; and establishing uniform conditions for exchanging information between Member States. FRA emphasised the importance of personal data protection concerns in this context. The meeting also discussed the Dublin Regulation module of the European Asylum Curriculum, with FRA using the opportunity to call for devoting a section of the module to dealing with children under the Dublin system. FRA’s report on ‘Separated, Asylum-seeking Children in EU Member States’, which contains a section on family tracing, was distributed at the meeting.