19 Better support for unaccompanied asylum seeker children
What the Committee said:
"The Committee recommends that the State party… consider the appointment of guardians to unaccompanied asylum-seekers and migrant children; The Committee recommends that the State party provide the necessary resources for an effective implementation of the Anti-trafficking Action Plan. It also recommends that the State party ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and implement its obligations by ensuring that child protection standards for trafficked children meet international standards."
Progress to date
- The Scottish Government remains involved in the development of the age assessment toolkit that is currently being taken forward by an independent consultant on behalf of the Scottish Refugee Council. Once the toolkit is finalised we will consider how those expected to carry out age assessments can best be supported in using it.
- Separated children are cared for by the local authority regardless of their country of birth. Getting it right for every child sets out a child-centred, multi-disciplinary practice model promoted by the Scottish Government. To help local authorities with the specific issues that affect separated children, the Scottish Government is part-funding the Scottish Guardianship Service, which offers specific support with the immigration process to local authorities.
- Through the funding of the Scottish Guardianship Service, the Scottish Government enables separated children to learn about the welfare and immigration processes directly, making the information relevant to their specific circumstances.
- In the coming year we will discuss with our partners if and how a national guardianship service can be continued and to this end we have asked the service to provide cost models for an up-and-running service. We will discuss these with our current funding partners as well as potential new ones. Ultimately, continued funding will depend on the shape of future budgets and, of course, on the evaluation findings for the current service.