Standard Operating Procedure/Guideline
According to an FRA (Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union) assessment, due to lack of clear guidance and information, limited qualified staff and inadequate reception conditions children are facing serious difficulties in almost all Member States of the EU. Thus, IOM missions in project countries are developing or contributing to standard operating procedures (SOP) or guidelines which expected to support and strengthen integrated national child protection systems. SOPs and guidelines are being developed in accordance with international and EU standards. Clear processes for transnational cooperation could guarantee that children’s rights and best interests are upheld in cross-border cases (family reunification, Dublin cases, relocation, voluntary return, missing children found in another country, etc).
The context in each of the countries is different. In some project countries child protection SOPs have already been developed, in other countries the process of developing SOPs is underway and IOM is providing expertise and staff time - made available by the project – to facilitate the process. In countries like Hungary, IOM is developing the Guideline in close coordination with a wide range of stakeholders, with a special focus on the most burning issues as identified during the national mapping exercise at the beginning of the project.
IOM Budapest has developed a ‘Guideline to protect migrant children’ which focuses on international and national legal frameworks and child-friendly procedures. The most problematic issues identified during focus group meetings with national stakeholders are how to identify vulnerability and to carry out age-assessment.