The Committee of Ministers – the decision-making body of the Council of Europe – has adopted a new recommendation on supporting young refugees in transition to adulthood.
This text, which was originally proposed by the Joint Council on Youth, recommends that the Council of Europe member states provide to young refugees additional temporary support after the age of 18 to enable them to access their rights.
Young refugees are among the most vulnerable groups, facing violations of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The situation is particularly difficult for those who are not accompanied or have been separated from their families, as well as for young refugee women. However on 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; they often no longer have access to the rights and opportunities they enjoyed as children. They are at risk and exposed to violence, exploitation and trafficking of human beings.
The Committee of Ministers recommends the member states’ governments ensure that additional temporary support is available to young refugees. It 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.
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).