Hundreds of unaccompanied minors get prospect of guardian

Three to four hundred unaccompanied minors will have the prospect of a guardian thanks to the recruitment of 15 employed guardians, 10 of whom will work in Flemish welfare centres, reports Justice Minister Paul Van Tigchelt.

Minors who arrive in Belgium without parents or representatives are entitled to a guardian. There are several types: voluntary guardians, self-employed people working as ​ a main or secondary occupation, and employed guardians who have an employment contract with an association, such as social services or NGOs.

At present, there are 660 active guardians with a total of 3,776 guardianship cases. At the beginning of 2023, 1,840 young people were on the waiting list. This number has since been reduced to 1,200. The Guardianship Service and Van Tigchelt have recruited 15 full-time guardians who will be able to look after a further 300 to 400 unaccompanied minors.

The new guardians are urgently needed as conflict situations have put additional pressure on the availability of guardians. "The war in Ukraine has pushed the numbers for 2022 to an all-time high," said Van Tigchelt. 'In addition, the conflict in the Middle East could create a new wave in the coming period."


#FlandersNewsService | Ukrainian refugees wait in the Jules Bordet Hospital in Brussels © KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

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