Article 31 — Unaccompanied minors
- As soon as possible after the granting of international protection Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure the representation of unaccompanied minors by a legal guardian or, where necessary, by an organisation responsible for the care and well-being of minors, or by any other appropriate representation including that based on legislation or court order.
- Member States shall ensure that the minor’s needs are duly met in the implementation of this Directive by the appointed guardian or representative. The appropriate authorities shall make regular assessments.
- Member States shall ensure that unaccompanied minors are placed either:
- with adult relatives; or
- with a foster family; or
- in centres specialised in accommodation for minors; or
- in other accommodation suitable for minors.
In this context, the views of the child shall be taken into account in accordance with his or her age and degree of maturity.
- As far as possible, siblings shall be kept together, taking into account the best interests of the minor concerned and, in particular, his or her age and degree of maturity. Changes of residence of unaccompanied minors shall be limited to a minimum.
- If an unaccompanied minor is granted international protection and the tracing of his or her family members has not already started, Member States shall start tracing them as soon as possible after the granting of international protection, whilst protecting the minor’s best interests. If the tracing has already started, Member States shall continue the tracing process where appropriate. In cases where there may be a threat to the life or integrity of the minor or his or her close relatives, particularly if they have remained in the country of origin, care must be taken to ensure that the collection, processing and circulation of information concerning those persons is undertaken on a confidential basis.
- Those working with unaccompanied minors shall have had and continue to receive appropriate training concerning their needs.