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Lords question academics and NGOs on unaccompanied minors in the EU

Continuing its inquiry into unaccompanied minors in the EU, the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee will speak to representatives from Save the Children and the Refugee Council, as well as a panel of academics, on Wednesday 23 March.

Unaccompanied minors are migrant children from non-EU countries, who are under 18 and are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The numbers of these particularly vulnerable children have risen dramatically as the refugee crisis continues to affect the EU.

The Committee's inquiry will investigate a number of areas including the nature and scale of the problems facing unaccompanied minors in the EU, the achievements of the EU Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors and possible options for further cooperation among EU Member States.

At 10.30am, the Committee will hear from three academics:

  • Professor Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration at Coventry University's Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations;
  • Professor Ravi KS Kohli, Professor of Child welfare at the University of Bedfordshire; and
  • Dr Ciara Smyth, a lecturer in Public International Law at the School of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

The Committee will question the witnesses on a number of issues including whether knowledge gained through EU-funded research is being used to its full advantage; whether there should be another EU Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors and, if so, the focus, content and purpose of the Plan; and the implications of Member States' failure to fully implement EU asylum law for unaccompanied minors.

Following on, at 11.30am, the Committee will question:

  • Judith Dennis, Policy Manager at the Refugee Council; and
  • Kirsty McNeill, Director of Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns at Save the Children.

Areas the Committee are likely to explore with the panel include the role of civil society in addressing the needs of unaccompanied minors; how the refugee crisis has affected unaccompanied minors in the EU; and what happens when unaccompanied minors disappear from care in the UK.

The evidence sessions will take place from 10.30am, on Wednesday 23 March in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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