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Young single migrants out of the reception systems. Local experiences in Europe

In recent years, the arrival of foreign minors without family references has increased substantially in Europe. Bearing in mind that most of those arriving are between 16 and 18 years of age, this has led to an almost immediate increase in the number of unaccompanied young migrants who leave the child protection systems as soon as they reach the age of majority.

This phenomenon has been accompanied by a twofold problem. First is the reception and living conditions of both minors and young people in care. The second problem has to do with hate speech and, in some cases, racist attacks against this group. In many municipalities, there have been attacks on reception centres and also where young migrants were supposedly living alone (whether or not they had been detained). Both issues have brought into play local administrations because, while they do not have responsibilities for child protection, local administrations are the first administrations responsible (or experience first-hand the consequences) when there are groups in their municipalities that experience a situation of serious social exclusion.

The aim of this working session was to provide a platform for debate between public administrations, social entities, and academics. In the first part, the main conclusions of the report carried out by CIDOB (within the framework of the Global Cities Programme) were presented. These included the identification of good practices in other European countries, as well as a brief diagnosis of the situation in the city of Barcelona. In the second part, the debate was opened to all the participants, with the aim of reflecting on this problem and jointly identifying proposals for the development of public policies in this area.

Taking into account the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the session was held in digital format. Beforehand, the draft of the CIDOB report was sent to the participants. Following the seminar, a document was drafted (to be published as part of the CIDOB Briefings series) with the main conclusions and recommendations arising from this working session.