The role of the provisional guardian is to safeguard due process protection for minor asylum seekers in Norway.
The provisional guardian acts as a stand-in for the parents as regards the legal aspects of parental responsibility. It is the reception centre where the minor is staying that has the daily care and control of the minor.
In the transit phase, i.e. when the minor has just applied for asylum, the provisional guardian’s task is to be present during the asylum interview, consent to a health examination and an age test, if required, and ensure that the minor gets the follow-up to which he/she is entitled. It is a big advantage if the provisional guardian visits the minor at the reception centre before the interview.
Before the interview starts:
The provisional guardian is entitled to review the case documents and is given up to an hour with the minor to explain his/her role. The provisional guardian will then be able to use the interpreter who has been booked for the interview.
During the interview:
It is the provisional guardian’s task to ensure that the interview is carried out in a correct manner without putting unnecessary strain on the minor. If the provisional guardian feels that the interview is not being conducted in an acceptable manner, he/she must raise this issue with the interviewer immediately or during the first break. It is otherwise important that the provisional guardian adopts a reserved role and lets the minor tell his/her story as freely as possible.
After the interview:
If the provisional guardian thinks that the minor needs special follow-up after the interview, he/she can contact the reception centre where the applicant is staying.
What happens once the minor has been interviewed?
Once the minor has been interviewed and an age examination has been carried out, if applicable, he/she is moved to an ordinary reception centre, usually in another municipality than the initial reception centre.
The provisional guardianship is terminated and a new provisional guardian is appointed for the minor in the municipality to which he/she moves. The new provisional guardian must ensure that the minor is followed up at the reception centre, assist the minor further in the asylum case and be of general assistance to the minor in his/her contact with the Norwegian authorities. The provisional guardianship is terminated when the minor turns 18.
Who can be a provisional guardian?
Adults who speak Norwegian and wish to assist an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker in Norway. He or she must be personally suited for the task.
Who appoints the provisional guardians?
It is the Office of the Public Guardian in the municipality where the minor is staying that appoints the provisional guardian. It is also responsible for ensuring that the provisional guardian performs his/her tasks in a satisfactory manner.
Are provisional guardians paid?
Provisional guardians are paid for participating in the asylum interview. They can have their expenses in connection with the provisional guardianship covered by the Office of the Public Guardian in the municipality where they were appointed.