In 2016 the Council of the Baltic Sea States published Guidelines Promoting the Human Rights and the Best Interests of the Child in Transnational Child Protection Cases. The Guidelines address the situations of children on the move, who are at any stage of their migration at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation, including in the context of trafficking. They are directed at professionals and officials working with and for children on the move in the fields of childcare, protection and social welfare, immigration and asylum, law enforcement and the judiciary, healthcare and education. They describe standards and obligations under international and European law that ensure children’s safety and well-being regardless of their national origin or immigration status. Case management and care planning for children on the move are central to the Guidelines.
The Guidelines discuss transnational cooperation step-by-step from the initial identification of a child and relevant assessments through to the identification and implementation of a durable solution, including the possibility of return. The first Addendum to the Guidelines was published in December of 2016.
Since the publication of the Guidelines and first Addendum, there have been important developments in Europe and, notably, new challenges in this field. This new second Addendum aims to provide an update in this regard and should be read alongside the Guidelines. This second Addendum focuses on developments since 2016, complements the previous Addendum and illustrates areas where the Guidelines may need to be revisited. It enables policy makers and practitioners to continue to work with key elements of the Guidelines, whilst being aware of important new developments.