Unaccompanied minors across boarders: Political and social questions regarding their protection

The huge flow of immigrants in recent years in Spain and in Europe in general contrasts with the lack of knowledge from a multidisciplinary and international perspective on the attitudes of the population toward unaccompanied minor and native children, their interests, and the role of the State. This relationship has not been paid much attention to in neither the welfare state, nor the child protection research field. Extracting knowledge from this somewhat unexplored domain is important in a scenario of growing change, where recent international events place the current national and international social and political debate on the «frontier» and the «immigrant».

The risk situation is higher when the immigrant is an unaccompanied minor. The Spanish society has been able to take not of this, however, the unaccompanied minor has increasingly become a direct concern of the State and its intervention agencies. The city of Melilla has first hand experience with this due to the fact that 98% of the unaccompanied minor immigrants who enter Spain, go through Melilla and Ceuta, the two North African Spanish cities.

This seminar seeks to deepen relations between citizenship, the state and the unaccompanied minor. Furthermore, it seeks to answer questions regarding the situation for unaccompanied immigrant children in Spain, Europe, and the United States. The focus will lie on the context of international migration, and the relation between practice and law. Finally, the seminar will seek to identify the status of the unaccompanied minor asylum-seeker: Are they considered immigrants or children?

April 25: Legal view
Javier Huete, Cheif prosecutor of minors
Judge of Minors of Melilla
Guillermo Ruiz, Lawyer of the Supreme Court

April 26: International view:
Marit Skivenes, Professor of Political Science, University of Bergen, Coordinator for the Child Rights Unit at Centre on Law and Social Transformation
Katrin Kriz, Associate Professor, Emmanuel College, Boston, USA
Dimitris Kyriakou, Lead Economist of the European Commission’s Smart Specialization S3 Platform

April 27: National/Final view
Esther Abad, Chief of the Protection of Minors of the Community of Madrid
Manuel Pedrero, University of Murcia
Sagrario Segado Sánchez-Cabezudo, UNED, Professor of Social work, Universidad de Huelva will lead a roundtable with directors and practitioners of centers of unaccompanied minors and authority.