Response to Vulnerability in Asylum
Stronger Attention to Asylum-Seekers with Special Needs
Asylum-seekers are one of the most vulnerable groups of people in the world. But among them are people facing even further risks and problems. This includes children who are orphaned or separated from their parents, people suffering from psychological problems, mothers and fathers raising children alone, victims of human trafficking and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
Typically, these people cannot advocate on their own behalf and national asylum systems are rarely able to identify them and ensure they receive the tailored social and psychological assistance they need. The fact that they are not identified and helped can, in turn, hinder a proper consideration of their asylum claims as they cannot provide all the required information in a clear way during the refugee status determination procedure owing to their special situation.
In response to this, UNHCR in Central Europe has launched the “Response to Vulnerability in Asylum” (RVA) project in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom to improve the system of identifying vulnerable asylum-seekers and providing tailored legal, social, psychological and medical help. The project is co-financed by the European Union and will:
- map the current practice, policies and legislation in the countries;
- identify good practices and lessons learnt- identify gaps and focus areas where future projects are required;
- analyze the current situation for vulnerable asylum-seekers by collecting their views and feedback;
- provide capacity-building and training for government stakeholders to strengthen their national asylum systems in responding to the special needs of vulnerable asylum-seekers;
- develop standard operating procedures that provide practical guidance on the implementation of policies and legislation in the area; and
- create a network of civil society stakeholders to facilitate the regular exchange of information and experience and better coordination of activities.
The “Response to Vulnerability in Asylum” project builds on the achievements of the previous “Asylum Systems Quality Assurance and Evaluation Mechanism” and “Further Developing Asylum Quality” projects which have improved the quality of asylum procedures and established an internal quality assurance, audit and review mechanism in the participating countries.
Project results will be shared with the European Asylum Support Office and non-participating EU countries and feed into the EU-wide harmonization of the 27 different national asylum systems currently in place.