Separated Children in Europe Programme

The Irish Refugee Council acts as the national focal point for the Separated Children in Europe Programme.  Samantha Arnold, Children’s and Young Persons’ Officer,sits on the Steering Committee along with four other members.

New coordinator

Defence for Children-the Netherlands is the new coordinator of the Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP). SCEP is a powerful European Network including more than 30 organizations and has from 1997 up until December 2012 been successfully coordinated by Save the Children Denmark. Defence for Children is proud to receive the trust of the partners as a coordinator and is dedicated to maintain SCEP as a key European platform in the protection and promotion of the rights of separated children.

Key priorities

The SCEP Network seeks to improve the situation of separated children through research, a shared policy and advocacy at national and regional levels. Age assessment, guardianship systems, return and trafficking are the priority areas of SCEP. The latest Position Paper on Age Assessment aims to provide concrete recommendations to States and other relevant stakeholders on how to ensure full respect of the rights that separated children are entitled to, when doubts concerning their age may arise. All the work of SCEP is based on the Statement of Good Practice.

The Separated Children in Europe Programme has developed the following vision to drive forward its work:

The rights of all separated children entering or travelling across Europe will be realised; in particular, they will be protected, their well-being and development will be promoted; they will have opportunities to develop their full potential and they will participate in a meaningful way in the development of policies and practices that impact upon their lives.

We believe that every separated child in Europe should:

  • Feel safe, secure and loved, be listened to and have a responsible guardian to turn to
  • Receive accurate advice, appropriate guidance and support throughout their time in the receiving country
  • Be seen as a child first and foremost rather than simply a migrant or criminal subject to administrative and immigration control
  • Be seen as a unique individual
  • Be listened to and be involved in the design of procedures and services addressing their needs.
  • Have their experiences acknowledged and validated.
  • Have opportunities to achieve their full potential.
  • Have their full range of needs, i.e. welfare, social, emotional and developmental addressed in relation to each other and not in isolation.

SCEP Newsletter No 39 Spring 2013