Implementation of the Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe (2021-2025)
Ensuring protection and promoting safeguards by identifying and responding to vulnerability
Effective identification and referral of vulnerable persons and addressing vulnerabilities throughout the asylum and migration procedures
The SRSG office will develop/compile transversally and support the implementation of practical guidance for the effective identification and referral of vulnerable persons and for addressing vulnerabilities throughout the asylum and migration procedures, including reception conditions.
The project implemented in Turkey “Strengthening the Human Rights Protection of Migrants - migration component” is underway under the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey programme.
Human rights principles and guidelines on age assessment for children in migration
Implement and further disseminate tools developed under the Action Plan on migrant children, namely:
- Italian Presidency and Council of Europe joint Event on age assessment of unaccompanied migrant children (2022)
- Age assessment for children in migration - A guide for policy makers (2019)
- Report on consultations with unaccompanied children on the topic of age assessment (2019)
- Child friendly leaflet: “Your rights in the age assessment procedure”
- Child friendly video animation on age assessment for children in migration
Guidelines and an explanatory memorandum to these guidelines on human rights principles and age assessment for children in migration are being finalised
Develop targeted action on safeguards in ageassessment procedures, including training for practitioners in the field.
Protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse
In the context of the Action Plan on migrant children on the 3rd of March 2017, the Lanzarote Committee adopted the Special report Protecting children affected by the refugee crisis from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, as an outcome of an urgent monitoring round it launched to assess how Parties to the Lanzarote Convention were protecting children affected by the refugee crisis from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
As a follow-up to this report, the current Action Plan invites the Lanzarote Committee to promote good practices in the implementation of the recommendations of the special report, with a focus on aspects of missing children and preventive measures. To this end, the Lanzarote Committee already adopted, on March 2022, compliance reports concerning the 10 recommendations considering that the parties should act.
Implementing at national level the Court judgments concerning vulnerability of accompanied and non-accompanied minors and access to asylum
The department on execution of judgments will organise an exchange of good practices on implementing at national level the Court judgments concerning vulnerability of accompanied and non-accompanied minors and access to asylum.
Rights of migrant and refugee women
On 20 May 2022, in Turin, Italy, the Committee of Ministers adopted a new recommendation to protect the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls providing measures to better respond to needs and challenges that they face.
Alternatives to immigration detention
Support the practical implementation and piloting of alternatives to immigration detention including through co-operation programmes and awareness-raising.
Effective guardianship for unaccompanied and separated children
Access to healthcare for vulnerable persons
The Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health (CDBIO) is developping measures, promoting fair access to healthcare for vulnerable groups, including refugees and migrants, especially in the context of pandemics. This include a guide to health literacy, and standards on equitable access to medical treatment and equipment and to innovative treatments.
Guidance for professionals working in the field of addiction and drug prevention
The Pompidou Group is developing a handbook and guiding principles for professionals working with migrants and refugees in the field of addiction and drug prevention.
Capacity building seminars are being organized by the Pompidou Group on “Responding to drug-related challenges for refugees, migrants and IDPs”. After a first edition in Athens on 8-11 October 2019, the second one took place in Palermo on 21-23 September 2021.
Ensuring access to law and justice
Thematic factsheet on migration and asylum
On 9 November 2021, the Council of Europe’s Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights published a new thematic factsheet on cases related to migration and asylum.
The factsheet summarises measures reported by 23 member states to protect and further strengthen migration- and asylum-related rights in response to 66 different judgments from the ECHR. It covers topics including access to territory and forced returns, the reception and protection of migrants and asylum seekers, protection from discrimination and hate crime, family life and family reunification and the detention of migrants and asylum seekers.
Guide on familybased care for unaccompanied and separated children
On 2 February 2022, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers took note of the Guide on family-based care for unaccompanied and separated children developed by the Steering Committee for Human Rights.
The guide highlights key aspects for Council of Europe member States to consider when developing and implementing family-based care for unaccompanied and separated children in the context of migration.
Thematic discussions on child-friendly approaches and procedures in migration
Hold thematic discussions on child-friendly approaches and procedures in migration within the Network of Focal Points on Migration and with other stakeholders (including in follow-up to Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)11 on effective guardianship).
Ensuring legal aid and representation, and access to information and justice
Identify and promote good practices in respect of legal aid and representation, and access to information and justice for vulnerable people in the context of asylum and migration, and develop related guidelines or policy recommendations.
Addressing statelessness and the right to a nationality
An International Conference and technical meeting of experts, co-organised by CDCJ and the UNHCR, took place on 23-24 September 2021, on "Statelessness and the right to a nationality in Europe: progress, challenges and opportunities".
Priority follow-up actions to be undertaken in the period 2022-2025 to pursue the work on statelessness include the elaboration of guidance on child-sensitive procedures for stateless children and on the establishment of nationality, in particular for children.
Addressing data protection and digital identity
Develop specific guidance on data protection and digital identity in the context of migration, in conformity with the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data and its Additional Protocol.
Fighting the smuggling of migrants
Foster international co-operation and investigative strategies in fighting the smuggling of migrants.
Child-friendly information for children in migration
Translate and promote the Council of Europe’s handbook on child-friendly information for children in migration.
Supporting young refugees in their transition to adulthood
Promote the practical implementation of the CM/Rec(2019)4 on supporting young refugees in transition to adulthood.
Fostering democratic participation and enhancing inclusion
Human rights training for legal professionals (HELP)
Continue and support the national implementation of HELP courses on refugee and migrant children, alternatives to immigration detention, asylum and the European Convention on Human Rights, the fight against racism and xenophobia, and radicalisation prevention.
Linguistic integration of migrants and refugees
Promote the use of dedicated resources and capacity-building activities to support the linguistic integration of migrants and refugees.
- The Education Department launched a toolkit for language support for adult refugees under the Action plan on migrant children. The toolkit is currently available in 7 languages and offers guidance and easy to-use teaching materials for educators and volunteers.
- Language support for Children arriving from ukraine;
- Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education;
- Handbook for curriculum development and teacher training:
Support the practical implementation of a literacy framework for migrants and refugees with non or low-literate background.
Develop a practical guide to support eductors in schools with refugee children to ensure their inclusion in the education system and society.
Integration of refugees and migrants through sports
Develop co-operation with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on supporting sports integration of refugees and migrants based on the existing platform of sports projects.
Multilevel policy framework for intercultural integration
On 6 April 2022,the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers adopted by consensus Recommendation CM/Rec(2022)10 on multilevel policies and governance for intercultural integration. This is the second international standard in this field following the adoption back in 2015 of CM/Rec(2015)1 on intercultural integration, and the first ever co-drafted by representatives of local and national authorities within the framework of the Working Group on Intercultural Integration (GT-ADI-INT).
Set up in 2020 under the Steering Committee on Anti-discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion, the GT-ADI-INT fulfilled its mandate by adapting the Intercultural Cities model to the regional and national level by: 1) reviewing the implementation of CM/Rec(2015)1, in this context, mapping strengths and remaining needs; 2) elaborating a Model Framework for an intercultural integration strategy at the national level, which was adopted by consensus in June 2021; 3) and suggesting ways to promote multilevel governance and policies for intercultural integration.
- Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on multilevel policies and governance for intercultural integration
A project on Building structures for intercultural integration in Cyprus was launched in June 2021.
Access to education and employement
Promote the integration of refugees by enhancing their access to education and employement, by facilitating the recognition of their qualifications through the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees and by fostering linguitic integration through education.
Alternative narratives and positive intercultural communication
The Intercultural Cities Programme issued a policy brief based on research about alternative narratives being developed by cities, big and small, in relation to migration and integration.
A training programme for public authorities' press service on alternative narratives and positive intercultural communication on alternative narratives is being developed and it is expected to be launched in 2022.
Enhancing co-operation between migration and asylum authorities in Council of Europe member states
Promoting inter-agency co-operation and fostering peer-to-peer exchanges
Use the Network of Focal Points on Migration to:
- Develop/compile transversally and support the implementation of practical guidance for the effective identification and referral of vulnerable persons and for addressing vulnerabilities throughout the asylum and migration procedures, including reception conditions.
- Hold thematic discussions on child-friendly approaches and procedures in migration in the Focal Points Network on Migration and other stakeholders (including in follow-up to the CM Rec(2019)11 on effective guardianship).
- Organise an exchange of good practices on implementing at national level the Court judgments concerning vulnerability of accompanied and non-accompanied minors and access to asylum.