The home in the village of St Julian’s will provide hospitality to 12 unaccompanied children. Unaccompanied children are among the most vulnerable among asylum seekers. Not only are they exposed to multiple dangers enroute but often they remain in danger once in Europe. Child protection and migration legislation often fail to provide adequate protection and shelter to children on the move. Between 2018 and 2020 almost 19,000 unaccompanied children went missing in Europe, the equivalent of 17 children a day.
The Migrants Commission is deeply concerned about the realities unaccompanied children face on these Islands. The reality of absconding is also a reality here.
Together with Fondazzjoni Sebħ The Commission will offer hospitality to 12 boys aged between 16-17 years. The house will ensure that all aspects of the best interest of the child are respected including within the asylum process.
Once again, the Commission identifies a gap in knowledge and expertise in working with unaccompanied children, even more so those arriving from war zones or violent conflict. We commit to develop this expertise as a team, facilitate training opportunities for professionals and offer specialised services to unaccompanied children.
Moreover, the Commission wants to overcome the taboo of not talking about the reality of missing children within the European Union and commit to also discuss the risks of absconding in Europe with the children themselves.