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EUAA and FRA: Protecting the rights of unaccompanied children in transnational asylum procedures

Child at airport
To better support unaccompanied children seeking protection, the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) have released their latest Practical Tool for Guardians. The tool will support guardians in assisting unaccompanied children with their asylum applications when there are different countries involved, such as in family reunification or relocation procedures.

The tool provides essential information for guardians, and outlines the child’s rights and guarantees in the following transnational asylum procedures:

  • The Dublin procedure concerning the country responsible for examining applications of unaccompanied children, including the role of the guardian.
  • Relocation from a Member State - usually the first country of entry and whose capacity is under pressure - to another Member State that agrees to receive them.
  • Procedures related to resettlement and family reunification, facilitating safe and legal pathways from third countries to the EU.

In line with the significant increase in asylum applications received in the EU in 2023, the number of claims by unaccompanied children has also grown. In the EUAA’s Asylum Report 2023, the Agency reported that the number of unaccompanied minors reached 42 000 in 2022, the highest in several years. In 2023, the number of applications is expected to have increased again, to around 46 000.

To better support unaccompanied children in need of international protection, the EUAA and FRA have worked together to draw up these practical tools for guardians to better understand and assist children in international protection procedures.

This is the fourth in a series of booklets resulting from cooperation between the two Agencies. The previous booklets focused on the following topics:

As part of its work in the area of asylum and migration, FRA has developed a wide range of guidance and advice on guardianship. This includes training material for guardians and trainers and an overview of the EU’s national guardianship systems. Indeed, children and unaccompanied minors are some of the most vulnerable applicants; the EUAA works closely with Member States to ensure the best interests of the child remains and is always the primary consideration, in all facets of international protection.

Any further information may be obtained from the EUAA or FRA Press Offices: