Without prejudice to the existence of national dispersal systems regulating the equal distribution of applicants across the territory of Member States, the standards and indicators included in this section should be read and implemented fully in line with the principle of family unity as well as respect for special needs that applicants for international protection might have.
Importantly, compliance with these principles is not only relevant upon entry into the reception system but also at the moment of reallocating or transferring applicants to different housing. Therefore, in line with Article 18(6) RCD, transfers of applicants to another facility should only take place when necessary.
Standards and indicators
STANDARD 2: Ensure that the principle of family unity is respected.
Indicator 2.1: Family members (in accordance with the definition of Article 2 RCD) are accommodated together.
- Additional remarks: The agreement of family members to be accommodated together is obtained on a voluntary basis. Safety considerations should be taken into account to allow for possible exceptions.
Indicator 2.2: Families with children are accommodated together provided that this is in line with the best interests of the child.
- Additional remarks: Special attention should be paid to the situation of married children.
Indicator 2.3: Where possible and appropriate, family unity should be respected with regard to members of the broader family.
- Additional remarks: Depending on the national arrangements and on the agreement of the applicants, members of the broader family (including relatives outside the definition of Article 2(c) RCD) could also be accommodated together.
Indicator 2.4: A maximum of one family is allocated per bedroom.
- Additional remarks: In order to respect standards of privacy, Member States should accommodate a maximum of one family per bedroom. The scope of the family definition would depend on the practice of the Member State concerned.
STANDARD 3: Ensure that special needs are taken into account when (re-)allocating particular housing to an applicant.
Indicator 3.1: The allocation of particular housing to applicants is based on an assessment of their special reception needs.
- Additional remarks: In particular, the allocation of housing to a child is based on the assessment of the best interests of the child.
Indicator 3.2: There is a possibility to transfer an applicant as a result of identified special reception needs.
- Additional remarks: In particular, safety considerations such as in the cases of victims of human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, torture or other serious forms of psychological and physical violence could necessitate the reallocation of different housing for the applicant. (cf. Standard 11 and Indicator 35.3: Special needs that become apparent at a later stage are adequately identified and assessed.
Good practice on (re-)allocating housing to an applicant
It is considered good practice to transfer families with school children while taking into consideration school holidays at the end of the school year.
STANDARD 4: Ensure that specific and objective reasons linked to the individual situation of the applicant are taken into account when allocating housing to an applicant.
Indicator 4.1: A mechanism is in place to consider whether there are specific and objective reasons for the allocation of particular housing.
- Additional remarks: The ‘individual situation of the applicant’ referred to in the standard above refers in particular to the cultural, linguistic and religious background of the person, the gender of the applicant (e.g. transgender persons) and individual considerations linked to, for example, employment, vocational training or existing family links.