The European Social Network travelled to Brussels in May 2016, where we hosted an event to launch the publication from our three-year-long study 'Investing in Children's Services, Improving Outcomes' at the European Parliament. A key focus within this work was on unaccompanied children and how to care for them.

Unaccompanied migrants: the professional viewpoint

The first video in this series highlights the work being done across Europe to integrate and care for these children and to make them more visible in both children's and migration policy.

Investing in Children's Services: a focus on unaccompanied minors from European Social Network on Vimeo.

 In this clip, we hear from Director of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), Michelle LeVoy, about the present situation for child migrants (both unaccompanied and with their families) in Europe, as well as from ESN Policy Director Alfonso Lara Montero about the European policy landscape.

Local government representatives from Pas-de-Calais County Council in France and the Municipality of Trosa in Sweden are also featured due to their experiences dealing with large numbers of migrant children. They give us insights on how they are tackling the challenges of these unaccompanied migrants in their localities.

“One in three arrivals nowadays in the EU, are children” Michele Levoy (PICUM)

Coming out of ESN's 'Investing in Children's Services' event in Brussels in May 2016, we saw the majority of stakeholders calling for increased visibility for children in both migration and children's policy and access to core services.

Listening to unaccompanied migrants

Filmed as part of our two-video series on 'Investing in Children's Services' across Europe, the second video in the series features a young service user.

Unaccompanied minors in Europe: listening to users from European Social Network on Vimeo.

In this clip, we interview a young person in the services of Brighton and Hove City Council in Brighton, United Kingdom about his experience of using services there. His name is Befkadu (Befe) Tekle and he has come to Brighton from Eritrea, East Africa.

Befe is an unaccompanied child migrant and therefore is one of the estimated 90,000 children who have claimed asylum in Europe in 2015. He is just one of the children who will need access to appropriate local services and who will need to be supported by policy development in the areas of migration policy and children’s policy.

Next steps

At ESN, we believe that local authorities have a duty of care towards the most vulnerable groups in our societies. Unaccompanied child migrants, regardless of their background, are children and they are children in need of support. Over the course of 2017, we will be working with a wide range of stakeholders to prepare a seminar on the theme of unaccompanied migrants and later a report detailing services for unaccompanied migrants across a number of member states