New 48-page guide aims to ensure child’s best interests are given primary consideration
European Asylum Support Office publishes practical guide on the best interests of the child
25 February 2019
The EU's European Asylum Support Office (EASO) last week published a new practical guide on the best interests of the child in asylum procedures.
You can download the 48-page guide here.
The guide aims to help to identify and highlight the key milestones for the implementation of the best interests of the child. It provides guidance and support on the required guarantees and safeguards which will ensure that the child's best interests are given primary consideration in asylum claims.
EASO explains: "This practical guide focuses on the asylum procedures. The child should be able to make a free and informed decision to apply for international protection. The parents/guardian/representative and/or [Child Protection] CP actors can continuously assess if it is in the best interests of the child to pursue the application. Ensuring the [best interests of the child] BIC is respected requires cooperation among all relevant actors with competence in continuously assessing the best interests of the child. Child protection and assessing the BIC go beyond the asylum procedure, hence the need for continuous collaboration with the CP authorities and other actors in a holistic way, such as the reception authority, guardian/representative and legal advisors.
"The practical guide intends to support operationalising the implementation of the best interests principle in the asylum procedures, in line with EU acquis and other relevant international legislation. It has been developed with the understanding that in different EU+ States there are different practices and actors involved in the best interests of the child and it is up to the national authorities to ensure that all relevant protection guarantees and safeguards have been put in place during the asylum procedures."
The practical guide is divided into five sections - an overview of the terminology; the background and elements of the best interests of the child; procedural safeguards and the relevant guarantees; guidance on how to assess the best interests in practice; and vulnerability and risk indicators.
The guide is complemented with a set of annexes, including a best interests checklist template, a compilation of policy and guidance documents, and an overview of EU and international legal instruments.