Monitoring of Returned Minors

The Monitoring of Returned Minors (MRM) project aims to contribute to more sustainable and safer return of minors. The project has developed a monitoring model for the return of minors, based upon the United Nations best interest of the child criteria.

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The MRM project is carried out by HIT Foundation, innovation platform for labour and migration, in collaboration with Micado Migration and Nidos Foundation and is co-funded by the European Return Fund.

Background
In the field of return migration, there is limited attention for reintegration and after-care and hardly any attention for monitoring and evaluation. When it concerns minors this poses an additional challenge, because the best interest of the child has to be taken into account in all decisions (UN Convention of the Rights of the Child). Because there is hardly any monitoring after return and hardly any contact between countries of origin and destination countries, it is practically impossible to make well-informed decisions regarding return of minors.

Research indicates that returned minors a.o. in Kosovo and Albania, do face problems. Recent reports by UNICEF and the Kosovo Health Foundation (March 2012) and by ECRE and Save the Children (December 2011) are calling for monitoring mechanisms and for better incorporation of best interest of the child-based decisions.

Action
On behalf of the European Commission, HIT Foundation has executed a research pilot to contribute to more sustainable and safer return of minors through:

  1. The design of monitoring mechanisms for returned minors by interviewing 150 returnees
  2. A small-scale pilot which offers support to correct the situation in case monitoring reveals shortcomings during the project
  3. Advising on standards to be used for the establishment of mechanisms for assistance to minors.

The MRM project assumes that a monitoring mechanism should be able to state whether an individual case of return has been in the best interest of the child, to increase structural learning and make better-informed best interest of the child decisions in future return cases coming from EU Member States. By taking this approach, the model can be used for other countries of return to set up similar structures.