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EMN Conference on Unaccompanied Minors

The report provides an insight into the conference of the German National Contact Point for the European Migration Network (EMN) on the topic "Unaccompanied Minors in Germany and Europe". 90 participants from Germany as well as from 15 EU Member States and Switzerland attended the meeting that took place in Berlin on 14 June 2018, including representatives of EU institutions, ministries and authorities, non-governmental organisations, academia and international organisations.

Below you will find the detailed documentation of the welcoming remarks and presentations. In the right column you can find the conference report in a layouted form in German and English language for download, as well as some of the presentations.

A woman is speaking on a podium

European Cooperation and Integration

In her opening remarks, Renate Leistner-Rocca, Director of the Research Centre of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, emphasised the importance of European exchange, including for unaccompanied minors. Michael Tetzlaff, Head of Directorate at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, stated that the focus in Germany concerning unaccompanied minors is on integration, since most of them remain in Germany at least until they reach the age of majority.

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A woman is speaking on a podium

Cross-border cooperation at EU level

In her opening speech, Isabela Atanasiu, Legal Officer in the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, reported on the work of the EU with regard to unaccompanied minors.

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Three women and one man on a podium

Accommodation and Care Arrangements

In the first panel, Julian Tangermann presented the EMN study on unaccompanied minors in Germany. Antje Steinbüchel of the Land Youth Welfare Office Rhineland then traced developments and challenges in youth welfare since 2015. Ulrike Schwarz (Federal Association for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees, BumF e.V.) looked back on the numerous legal changes and their effects, while Dr. Martha Matscher, Vice-Prefect in the Italian Ministry of the Interior, broadened the view on the situation of unaccompanied minors in Italy

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Three men and one woman on a podium

Deradicalisation and Prevention Work

The second panel was dedicated to the topic of deradicalisation and prevention work with unaccompanied minors. Alexander Gesing (Association for Multicultural Child and Youth Assistance, IFAK e. V.) described the reasons for radicalisation as well as prevention strategies. Florian Endres, Head of the Advice Centre on Radicalisation of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, explained the work of the advice centre and Dr. Michael Kiefer from the Institute of Islamic Theology at the University of Osnabrück reported on numerous obstacles within prevention work.

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Three women and one man are on a discussion on the podium

Adulthood – and then?

The third panel outlined the prospects for unaccompanied minors after reaching the age of majority. Kirsten Eichler (Association for Support of Asylum Seekers, GGUA e.V.) gave a legal overview of the prospects to remain once adulthood is reached. Marion Lich, Head of the Office for Return Assistance of the City of Munich, shared her experiences in the field of return counselling. This was complemented by the Swedish perspective on the return and reintegration of unaccompanied minors and young adults presented by Kjell-Terje Torvik from the Swedish Migration Agency.

More: Adulthood – and then? …

A woman is speaking on a podium.

Ressources, Time and Professionalism

In her closing remarks, Corinna Wicher, Head of the Directorate for International Tasks and Administration of EU-Funds within the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, stressed the importance of structures that allow for an exchange of different actors on good practices, challenges and gaps.

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Additional Information

Cover "Conference Report: Unaccompanied Minors in Germany and Europa"

Conference Report 2018

The conference report summarises the main aspects of each presentation of the conference organised by the German National Contact Point for the EMN in Berlin on 14 June 2018 on the topic of “Unaccompanied Minors in Germany and Europe”.

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Opening speech Isabela Atanasiu

Presentation Isabela Atanasiu, European Commission

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Presentation Julian Tangermann

Presentation Julian Tangermann, German EMN Contact Point (German and English)

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Presentation Antje Steinbüchel

Presentation Antje Steinbüchel, Land Youth Welfare Office Rhineland (German)

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Presentation Dr. Martha Matscher

Presentation Dr Martha Matscher, Italian Ministry of Interior (German)

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Presentation Alexander Gesing

Presentation Alexander Gesing, Counselling Network Grenzgänger

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Presentation Kirsten Eichler

Presentation Kirsten Eichler, Association for Support of Asylum Seekers, GGUA e.V. (German)

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