International Organization for Migration

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Family assessment and AVRR for unaccompanied Migrant Children in Italy in support of the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies (2008-2013)

Project type: Return Assistance to Migrants and Government

Geographical coverage: Albania, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia.

Executing agency: IOM

Beneficiaries: Unaccompanied migrant children temporarily residing in Italy; social workers and others working with unaccompanied children.

Partner(s): Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, Italian municipalities.

Duration: 2008-2013

Under the IOM Rome supervision, IOM Tirana carried out a family tracing programme for Unaccompanied Minors during 2008 - 2013. The project was conducted in the countries of origin, mainly, in Albania, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Moldova, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, and Tunisia, in close cooperation with the local authorities. The Project aimed at offering support to the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, and local administrations and social services and at contributing to the implementation of comprehensive, effective responses to the challenges related to the massive inflows to Italy of unaccompanied migrant children. In Italy, liaison, outreach and information activities on the project rationale and services targeted social workers, local authorities and diplomatic and consular missions of the unaccompanied minors’ Countries of Origin, as well as children themselves. The family tracing/assessment activities in the Country of Origin were carried out in unaccompanied minors’ context of origin and helped the Italian reference authorities (Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, Juvenile Judges, Social Services, Guardians) to identify the most suitable durable solution to uphold the child’s best interest, either in Italy or in the minors’ Countries of Origin, when the minor expressed the willingness to reunite with the parents. The family tracing also assessed the economic and social resources and opportunities available in each UMC’s context of origin. Through Assisted Voluntary Return Process, the project supported the reunification of the minors with their families in the Countries of Origin, following the decision of the Italian Committee for Foreign Minors and relevant judicial authorities on entrusting the minors to competent foster care authorities.