The project “In whose best interest? Exploring Unaccompanied Minors’ Rights Through the Lens of Migration and Asylum Procedures (MinAs)” is a research project carried out in four European countries (Slovenia, Austria, France and United Kingdom) in the period from June 2014 to December 2015. European Commission finances the project and its main aim is to identify and recommend better procedures and protection measures for unaccompanied minors (UAM).

The project examines UAMs’ reception, protection, asylum and return procedures and focuses on:

1. The concept of best interests of the child (BIC).
2. The formal processes of best interests determination (BID).

The project looks at both concepts in the actual legal framework for UAM in reception, protection, asylum and return procedures in the four EU countries. Many European countries have not yet introduced best interests determination procedures into their national legislation for UAM. In these cases, lack of appropriate safeguards for UAM are most likely to be identified, leaving the possibility of (too) flexible interpretation of the child’s best interests, which in some cases may be subjected to nationalist, xenophobic and racist discourse. In order to contribute to fulfilling the national obligations set out by international law, as well as following the aims of the European Commission, the project analyses the practical, philosophical and phenomenological dimensions of the best interests of the child, which will enable a deeper understanding of the best interests of children as well providing a solid basis for proper implementation of the principle in practice.


This project is co-funded by the PPUAM 2013 (Pilot Project – Analysis of reception, protection and integration for unaccompanied minors in the EU) of the European Union.