Unaccompanied foreign minors are foreign citizens under the age of 18, present in the Italian territory without parents or other adults legally responsible for their assistance or representation. A maximum time of 600 days is intended for them to complete di identification and the age verification; the direct accommodation in the SPRAR web is due to them, in case of lack of places available the accommodation will be guaranteed by the local authorities.
The procedure establishes:
- taking charge of the minor;
- assignment to a safe place and inclusion in basic services (nomination of a tutor, school registration, registration to SSN);
- family investigation;
- safeguard and care of the minor.
According to Dublin III, in case of unaccompanied minors consideration must given to the possibility of relatives in EU. In this case, the State responsible for examining the asylum application is the one where the relative regularly resides, which means where he possesses a valid residence permit. In the absence of regularly resided relatives in Europe the State responsible is the one where the minor is, independently of the first state of entry.
It happens that some of them don’t declare to authorities to be minors thinking that if they did so, they would run a higher risk to be “blocked” in Italy, without the possibility to continue the journey to another European state. But the opposite is true: unaccompanied foreign minors who enters irregularly in Italy and moves to another country, asking for international protection, cannot be moved back to Italy. Generally, only declaring the real age the minor will have the possibility to access to rights reserved for minors, such as:
- protection against expulsion;
- the right to have a tutor;
- the right to be host in reception centers with specific services for minors;
- access to residence forms different from asylum, such as residence permit for “minors”, valid until the age of 18;
- the principle that states that the superior interest of the minor is the primary criterion on which any decision relies on.