Mandala outline

Putting into practice the Council of Europe Recommendation on Supporting Young Refugees in Transition to Adulthood

Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin                                 

 Young refugees, asylum seekers and migrants after the age of 18 are particularly vulnerable, because of the overnight change in their legal status and the loss of the rights and protection that they previously enjoyed as children. Their human rights protection and inclusion is key for the cohesion of the host societies and deserves a special focus.

At the Council of Europe level, the protection of this group has long been identified as a priority area for its work.

On 24 April 2019, the  Committee of Ministers adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)4:  Supporting young refugees in transition to adulthood (the Recommendation). It provides, among others, guidance to member states on various key areas related to transition to adulthood including access to social services, accommodation and welfare benefits; access to education, vocational training and the labour market; and access to health care and psychological support.  In May 2021, the Committee of Ministers adopted the Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe (2021-2025), which foresees activities to promote the practical implementation of the Recommendation. The Youth Department developed a Guide which simplifies the language of the Recommendation and assists different actors to develop a better and clearer understanding of the proposals and policy measures.

In parallel with the work of the Youth Department, in January 2022, the Council of Europe started implementing the multilateral project “Building Futures, Sharing Good Practices: Migrant Children’s Transition to Adulthood – UACFutures”, which aims to foster long-term improvements in the quality of support provided to unaccompanied migrant children during their transition to adulthood.

The comprehensive work and tools developed by the Council of Europe create, therefore, the circumstances and open space for dialogue and exchange on effectively supporting the transition of young refugees and migrants to adulthood.

Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin      

 International launching event

The International Launching Event Turning 18 with Confidence: Supporting Migrant and Refugee Children Transitioning to Adulthood will be held at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg on 18 April 2023.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness and improve the knowledge and capacities of relevant professionals in supporting young refugees and migrants in their transition to adulthood, inter alia by: 

  • Presenting and launching the different tools on transition to adulthood in the context of asylum and migration, i.e., Guide for the implementation of the Recommendation, etc.
  • Presenting the findings and tools developed in the framework of the multilateral project “Building Futures, Sharing Good Practices: Migrant Children’s Transition to Adulthood – UACFutures”.
  • Presenting and launching the SRSG website on transition to adulthood.
  • Raising awareness on other Council of Europe tools to support the effective transition of young refugees and migrants to adulthood.
  • Engaging in dialogue with partners and other relevant stakeholders, including young refugees and migrants, to identify areas where further support is needed.
  • Fostering international exchanges of experiences, lessons learnt and know-how.

The event will bring together representatives of public authorities, institutions, international organisations, youth and non-governmental organisations, social and legal professionals, academia and other relevant professionals involved in the protection of migrant children and young refugees and migrants.


Council of Europe/Sandro Weltin      

 Workshop for young refugees and youth workers

The Youth Department organises a workshop for young refugees and youth workers around the launching event. The workshop will enable the participants to:

  • Know the Youth for Democracy programme of the Council of Europe and the role of young refugees therein;
  • Explore in depth the Recommendation and the guide associated with it;
  • Make proposals for further advocacy and support to young refugees within the Council of Europe youth sector
  • Liaise with peers and potential partners across Europe.

  17-19 April 2023

  European Youth Centre, Strasbourg (France)