This discussion paper aims to provide an overview of the scope of activities of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in relation to the protection of unaccompanied migrant children and support for this group. It significantly draws on IOM’s operational data and programmatic information, collected through internal knowledge management tools; at the same time, this information is supplemented by a mapping of the activities of IOM Field Offices covering the period 2009–2011. This paper also benefits from a review of existing international standards and policy frameworks as well as recent research conducted on the topic of unaccompanied migrant children.
The document is divided into four parts: Chapter 1 provides the introductory framework, together with an overview on the topic of unaccompanied migrant children and a summary of conclusions drawn from the work of IOM in this context. Chapter 2 presents a short overview of the international legal standards that exist in relation to unaccompanied migrant children. Chapter 3 highlights IOM’s work for unaccompanied migrant children in the different fields of the Organization’s migration-related activities. Chapter 4 explores the broader context of interorganizational partnerships between IOM and other actors and international cooperation with regard to unaccompanied migrant children. An annex containing a more detailed legal framework is provided to complement the information provided in chapters 1–4.