FAIR project: best practice example of DG JUST funding

We'd like to showcase another project, funded by the REC (Rights, Equality and Citizenship) programme, exemplifying best practice: FAIR (Fostering Access to Immigrant children’s Rights).

The FAIR (Fostering Access to justice for Immigrant children’s Rights) project, co-funded by the REC programme, ran from March 2016 to June 2018.

Aims

One of the main obstacles in access to justice for migrant children is the lack of lawyers, specialised in international human rights and EU law on children’s rights as well as on the use of international human rights mechanisms, who can act as an effective point of entry to the justice system for migrant children.

In order to enhance the access to justice for migrant children across the EU, the International Commission of Jurists-European Institutions (ICJ-EI) partnered with:

  • the Immigrant Council of Ireland
  • the Greek Council for Refugees
  • the Federal Association for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (Germany)
  • the Legal Clinic for Refugees and Immigrants (Bulgaria)
  • the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa (Italy)
  • the Aditus Foundation (Malta).

The project was designed to create pools of national lawyers in Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Malta and Spain who can defend migrant children’s rights effectively through the courts and assert children’s right to be heard and to have their views taken into consideration in judicial proceedings.

                

                Ferney-Voltaire (France), October 2019: the "Strategic Litigation Retreat"'s group

 

Methodology & results

Through 7  national training sessions, the project created a pool of 142 trained national lawyers with a higher level of specialisation in representing migrant children in their respective countries. These lawyers are now better equipped to use the national and international human rights protection mechanisms available and more willing to engage in litigation and advocacy initiatives at national, EU and international level.

The project has also helped create a transnational network of lawyers and experts from 10 countries who have a closer understanding of strategic litigation strategies. Following up the capacity-building activities, the partnership supported a number of lawyers in developing litigation strategies at national and international levels. The improved understanding of the importance of international mechanisms is shown by the strategies newly adopted by national lawyers, targeting mechanisms at international level that will have a direct impact on the protection of migrant children’s human rights.

The successful partnership and implementation of project activities has also resulted in a set of seven training modules on access to justice for migrant children, developed in English and translated into Bulgarian, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish.

The project was concluded in Brussels, culminating in an event at the European Parliament. This was complemented by a presentation in Paris at the World Congress on Access to Justice for Children. The events brought together policy-makers, NGOs and other stakeholders concerned with access to justice for migrant children.

The ICJ-EI is currently building on the results of this pilot project through the implementation of the FAIR PLUS project.

 

             

      Ferney-Voltaire (France), October 2019: working group with international experts, lawyers and project partners

 

More about FAIR

1. Promotional videos with organisers and participants talking about the project:

2. Link to the training modules in all languages: https://www.icj.org/training-materials-on-access-to-justice-for-migrant-children/

Our congratulations to the Consortium on the quality of this valuable work! We encourage all readers to download, use and disseminate the outputs.