An updated Asylum Information Database (AIDA) report on Croatia has been published that reflects the amendment to the country’s Law on Administrative Disputes made in December 2014. This amendment introduces the possibility of a second appeal in the asylum procedure, allowing asylum seekers to appeal against a decision of the Administrative Court before the High Administrative Court. While the onward appeal has a suspensive effect, allowing applicants to remain on Croatian territory until the end of proceedings, this is expected to be amended in a forthcoming Law on International and Temporary Protection, which is to transpose the Asylum Procedures Directive and the Reception Conditions Directive into Croatian legislation. According to the report, written by the Croatian Law Centre, there has been no case or available information to date on how the appeal before the High Administrative Court is handled in practice, or on the forms of accommodation and benefits available to asylum seekers during this appeal.
The report also demonstrates that there has been a significant drop in the number of asylum applications made in Croatia, from 1,089 in 2013, to 453 in 2014, of which 54 were made by Syrian nationals 18 by Afghan, 10 by Somali, and 4 by Eritrean nationals. The recognition rate has remained at approximately 11%.
The ECRE member organisation France Terre d’Asile released a document to provide insight into the various issues of the welcome and support of unaccompanied children in France in order to give an overview of the system in place. The paper highlights how unaccompanied minors in France may struggle to find legal representation, and thus may have no legal capacity. This can in turn lead to difficulties in accessing social protection, health care, education and a number of other rights. While obtaining precise statistics on the numbers of unaccompanied foreign minors is problematic, it is estimated that there are around 8,000 in France, with a large proportion of them being male, and aged over 15 years old.