Nelydimų nepilnamečių užsieniečių situacijos apžvalga ir teisinis reglamentavimas Lietuvoje
Unaccomponied minors were identified as a separate category of migrants in the law on The Legal Status of Aliens passed in 2004. The Lithuanian membership in the European Union has regulated the reception, integration and legal regulation of expulsion concerning unaccomponied minors. However, it soon became evident that such legal regulation has to be essentially different for non-asylum seeking unaccomponied minors from asylum seeking unaccomponied minors. Insufficient legal regulation as well as the application of different practice could not ensure proper interests of children. Today there is a clear distinction between the two categories of unaccompanied minors. These are asylum seeking and non-asylum seeking unaccompanied minors. As a result of this, the Procedure for Assessment of the Age of Non-asylum Seeking Unaccompanied Minor Aliens Identified in the Republic of Lithuania, Accommodation and Taking Other Procedural Action in Respect Thereof and Provision of Services (hereinafter: the ‘Procedure’) approved by Lithunian Minister of Social Security and Labour, Lithuanian Minister of the Interior and Lithuanian Minister of Health Order No A1-229/ 1V-289/ V-491 of 23 April, 2014 was passed in 2014. Since the asylium procedures are regulated relatively consistently (including unaccompanied minors), the Procedure for non-asylum seeking unaccompanied minor aliens is relatively new and good practice is under formation. The article analyzes the situation of unaccompanied minor aliens in Lithuania, legal regulation and practical aspects of the application of national legislation. The arising problems are analyzed and the issues related to the application of the best interests of the child into practice are examined. The article also examines the possibilities for the identification of unaccompanied minors and the lack of methods for the assessment of age of unaccompanied minors in Lithuania as well as the lack of responsibility of government agencies in cases of unaccompanied minor aliens absconding from care institutions.
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