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Unaccompanied minors in the EU inquiry launched

10 February 2016

The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee launches a new inquiry into unaccompanied minors in the EU and invites all interested parties to submit evidence to the Committee by Thursday 10 March 2016.


Unaccompanied minors are migrant children below the age of 18 from non-EU countries who are not accompanied by a parent or customary guardian. They are therefore considered to be particularly vulnerable and in need of special protection and care.

Areas of interest

The inquiry aims to investigate a number of areas including:

  • the nature and scale of the problems facing unaccompanied minors
  • whether EU provisions translate into clear national obligations for Member States
  • the achievements of the 2010–2014 Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors
  • remaining gaps in law and policy
  • options for further cooperation among EU Member States.

Comment of Baroness Prashar, Chairman:

“In September last year, the OECD reported a rapid rise in the number of unaccompanied minors arriving in Europe. Eurostat data show that over 24,000 such children sought asylum in 2014, when the EU's previous Action Plan came to an end.

“A growing number of unaccompanied minors go missing from care, and there appears to be a link between these disappearances and activities such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation and organised crime.

“The plight of unaccompanied minors is being overlooked in the face of the unabating refugee crisis. Much effort has been expended since the Commission's publication of its Agenda on Migration to deal with the overall crisis. But strikingly little progress appears to have been made to renew the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors.

“We want to examine the issue of unaccompanied minors, and EU policy in this area, to encourage debate and official action. We would welcome anyone who has experience or interest in this area to contribute to our inquiry.”

Further information