International Organization for Migration

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Family tracing activities and assisted voluntary returns of unaccompanied foreign minors, in support of the Italian Committee for Foreign Minors, within the Ministry of Social Solidarity (March 2008 - November 2009)


The project aims to provide technical assistance to those national and local administrations tasked with seeking sustainable and effective solutions to the irregular migration of unaccompanied minors. It will be implemented in compliance with national and international norms protecting minors’ interest and right to family reunification.


Italy has recently witnessed an increase in the inflows of unaccompanied foreign minors (UAFM) which poses concerns and strain on the authorities. At the end of 2007 the total figure of UAFM under foster care of the Italian Authorities amounted to over 6,000. This initiative aims at complementing the existing system of assistance and protection of minors by pursuing an integrated approach among institutional and non-institutional partners both in Italy and in the origin countries in order to find effective solutions while respecting the best interest of the minors and their right to family unity.

With over 350 field locations and staff specialized in dealing with vulnerable groups, IOM is well placed to implement the project in close collaboration with the Italian Committee for Foreign Minors. The project activities will include:

  • Awareness raising and information dissemination on the services offered through the project addressing both minor migrants and authorities working with them.
  • Implementation of 1.500 family tracing schemes, based on the profiles provided by the Italian Committee for Foreign Minors. Family tracing will be conducted in countries of origin in close cooperation with local authorities and IOM offices. Family tracing per se will not necessarily lead to return and reunification with the family; in some instances it may provide the grounds for an integration process in Italy.
  • Assisted Voluntary Return support for the reunification of up to 300 minors with their families in the countries of origin or elsewhere, on the basis of decisions by the Italian Committee for Foreign Minors and by relevant judicial authorities in case of referrals to the competent foster care authorities.




Duration of the project:

  • Unaccompanied minors from Albania, Egypt, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco and Serbia with no Italian or other European Union member state citizenship, and who are not asylum seekers, finding themselves in Italy without assistance and guardianship of the parents or other adults legally responsible for them.

 March 2008-November 2009

Main donor:

Italian Ministry of Social Solidarity