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This working paper traces the institutional dynamics surrounding the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM), the first ever EU pilot attempting to organize the administrative deportation of unaccompanied minors. The first phase of ERPUM was initiated in January 2011, and its second stage began in December 2012 and was then discontinued in June 2014. Its core members were Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, and its observers were Denmark and Belgium. The pilot illustrates how bureaucratic networks in the European landscape of asylum policy interpreted the need to find “durable solutions” for unaccompanied minors as providing justification for institutionalizing their mass deportations. This paper is a follow-up to a workshop hosted by the RSC in 2013 on 'The Deportation of Unaccompanied Minors from the EU: Family Tracing and Government Accountability in the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) Project'.

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Working paper


Refugee Studies Centre

Publication Date



RSC Working Paper Series, 108

Total pages