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Young refugees should receive additional temporary support after the age of 18, recommends the Committee of Ministers

Source: Council of Europe  Photo: Council of Europe

Strasbourg,  24 April 2019 – The Council of Europe member States should provide to young refugees additional temporary support after the age of 18 to enable them to access their rights, advocates the Committee of Ministers in the recommendation on supporting young refugees in transition to adulthood adopted today.

This recommendation was adopted in the broader context of the Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe (2017-2019) and of its “Youth for Democracy” programme.

In this recommendation, the Committee of Ministers expressed its deep concern about the young refugees who are among the most vulnerable groups facing continuing risk of violation of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. This situation is particularly difficult for those who are not accompanied or have been separated from their families, and for young refugee women.

Reaching the age of majority, 18 years, young refugees are no longer under the protection of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and therefore no longer have access to the rights and opportunities they enjoyed as children. As young adults, they are likely to face an abrupt change in their ability to access essential services and support across many sectors – education, accommodation, employment and healthcare, including psychological support.

Without this support they risk going into hiding, thus putting their safety at risk, exposing themselves to violence, exploitation and/or trafficking of human beings.

Therefore, the Committee of Ministers recommends that the governments of the member States ensure that young refugees receive additional temporary support after the age of 18 to enable them to access their rights and that the governments take due consideration of the specific needs and situations of young women and young men. The Committee of Ministers also acknowledges the important role played by youth work and non-formal education/learning in supporting the inclusion of young refugees, and in developing competences of active citizenship and democratic participation.

Read full Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers here: https://bit.ly/2ZFCuwq

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