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In the following paragraphs the activities of SCEP are described to defend the rights of separated children in Europe. SCEP needs funding to establish the goals set for the upcoming years and seeks the support of sponsors. Upon request a detailed budget calculation on the different activities can be provided.
The great strength of the SCEP Network is the representation of SCEP members in 28 countries in Europe. Because of this wide representation it is possible to quickly seek the support in another member state. With one phone call a trustworthy contact person is found in every EU member State. This has made a difference in the lives of the separated children seeking for family reunification in another European country and in multiple other cases. The exchange of good and bad practices during the SCEP Network meetings provided input for advocacy on national en European level.
In the case of a 15-year-old Afghan boy (S.), who wanted to reunite with his family in the Netherlands but was held in a detention centre in Greece, the contact between the organizations in the SCEP Network proved to be of great value.
The mother and two siblings of S. had, after a procedure of many years, received a residence permit in the Netherlands. Because of this, it would be possible for Greece to send the boy to the Netherlands on the basis of article 6 of the Dublin II Regulation. The family did however not know where exactly in Greece the boy was or how to contact him.
The family and their lawyer asked the Dutch SCEP partner for help. They were able to forward the request to the partner in Greece, who found the lawyer who was assisting S. at the detention centre within a day. Procedures were started and only 3 months later, S. was reunited with his family in the Netherlands after having been separated for years.
This case is only one of many that prove the great value of the SCEP Network not only for advocacy and research, but for making a difference in individual cases of separated children.
The last revision of the Statement of Good Practice dates from 2009. Since then, policy and practice in the context of separated children has changed in many ways on both national as well as European level and therefore a revision of the Statement is required. Also, a link to the UNHCR/UNICEF Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child (publication expected in November 2013) should be provided for in this revision.
An important way to keep the network and other stakeholders informed about practice, policy and legislation in relation to separated children, is the development and continuation of a new website and newsletter. The website of SCEP contains all the information about the programme, its goals and achievements, as well as information about projects, jurisprudence and the various NGO's participating in the network. The website and newsletter need maintenance.
SCEP aims to write country assessments in every SCEP country on the situation of separated children. The last country assessments that have been conducted date from 2003, therefore it would be very valuable for information sharing and advocacy work to get updates from all countries on how the situation of separated children has changed over the years.
Such a project could include a questionnaire that each partner in the network fills out, in order to get information on the same topics from each country. SCEP could also work with (former) separated children to have them assess the situation in their country of residence. The programme coordinator would work on a report together with SCEP partners and the Steering Committee in which all the assessments are gathered in one European report.
SCEP aims to remain the European NGO network to defend the rights of separated children by having at least one network meeting every year with all members.
In order to be able to influence national and European policy in an effective manner, SCEP aims to write position statements about all 15 topics in the Statement of Good Practice. Examples of these topics are the appointment of a guardian, detention, family tracing, and the access to the Best Interests Determination process.
The SCEP Network plans to write five statements in small working groups during each of their meetings.
As a sponsor of the SCEP work there are possibilities to give visibility to the funding. For instance by adding the logo of the sponsor on the SCEP website and publications financed by the sponsor and reference to the sponsorship of SCEP in the communication tools of the sponsor. Requests in relation to the visibility of the sponsor can be done in consultation with the SCEP Coordinator and Steering Committee.
Read about SCEP's achievements and aims and goals for the future.
Contact the coordinator of SCEP:
Defence for Children-the Netherlands
With reference to Jantine Walst