DCI the Netherlands as a coordinator of the project ‘Closing a Protection Gap’

In December 2009, the first project ‘Closing a Protection Gap for Separated Children in Europe’ started as a response to the differences in the level of protection received by separated children across Europe. The project, financed by the EU Daphne III Programme, aims to harmonize the protection that these children receive by focusing on the qualifications of the guardian.

Guardians of separated children in Europe have reported on the challenges they face while implementing the ten Core Standards for Guardians of Separated Children. The challenges are often related to the migration laws of the country which the separated child has entered, which determines the type of protection and care the child will receive. It occurs that the law does not always support the best interests of the child as authorities do not always respect the independent position of the guardian who may be requested to provide confidential information to facilitate the repatriation of the child. Breaking confidentiality however is often detrimental to the child’s best interest, and it creates a gap in the guardian-child relationship.

It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 separated children throughout Europe who all have the right to a guardian that will protect their rights and act in their best interest. A clear need for exchanging practices among guardians is deemed necessary, as well as providing practical booklets, indicators and tools that would allow the guardians to implement the Core Standards. Based on the views expressed by separated children, guardians and experts, the Core Standards inform, guide and influence all parties involved in guardianship for separated children.

More information about the project, partners and country assessments from Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia and The Netherlands about the level of implementation of the Core Standards is available at: www.corestandardsforguardians.com