European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors – ERPUM
European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) is a European project. The project aims to find new methods for the return of unaccompanied minors that need to return after receiving a final rejection of their asylum application.
The project started in January 2011 due to the increasing number of asylum seeking children in Europe. The project background is to some extent based on the EU Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors from 2010. In addition to Sweden the project also involves the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. The partner countries intend to organize family reunification and return for unaccompanied minors. ERPUM is funded by the European Return Fund, Community Actions, and The Swedish Migration Board is managing the project.
Tracing and reunificationMany unaccompanied minors travel to Europe seeking asylum. But not all minors applying for asylum meet the requirements for a residence permit.
The aim of the project is to develop a human and safe return process for the unaccompanied minors. An important step in the process is to make sure that these minors are reunited with their parents. That is why the Swedish Migration Board, together with the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), the Repatriation and Departure Service from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in the Netherlands and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) started the project ERPUM.
The objectives of ERPUM are to develop methods and contacts in order to find the parents of the minors who must return home, but also to find safe and adequate shelter in the country of origin. No minor will return home without a safe and orderly reception. The right to be reunited with the parents is stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Cooperation with Afghanistan and IraqERPUM has established contacts and will cooperate with the governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
ERPUM I was finalized in December 2012. An additional phase, ERPUM II, is funded by the Return Fund and has a duration period from 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2014.