Representatives for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers

Children who come to Norway alone and apply for protection (asylum) are called unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. They have the right to have a representative appointed for them.

A representative (previously called a 'guardian') is an adult who acts in the parents’ stead and looks after the unaccompanied minor asylum seeker’s rights in Norway, both legally and financially.

What does a representative do?

Representatives are not responsible for the daily care of the child or for providing for the child financially. The asylum reception centre or the care centre have this responsibility.

The representative must ensure that

  • the child is heard
  • the child receives appropriate care, living arrangements, education, language support and health care
  • all decisions made are in the child’s best interest, and if relevant appeal the decisions on behalf of the child

The representative is given remuneration. Expenses that are necessary to do their assignment will be reimbursed.

Who can be a representative for unaccompanied minor asylum seekers?

A representative must be an adult and competent to take care of the child’s interests in the best possible way. In order to become a representative, the person must therefore have good knowledge of the Norwegian society and the Norwegian language, and be able to navigate public services.

Spouses or cohabitants of an unaccompanied minor asylum seeker cannot be their representative.

How to become a representative?

It is the County Governor in the county where the child is living that decides who will be the child’s representative. You may apply to become a child's representative here. (external website)The County Governor provides necessary training and makes sure that the representative performs the assignment in a satisfactory manner.

If the child lives in a transit reception centre it is the County Governor in Oslo and Akershus that decides who will be the child’s representative, regardless of where the child is living. 

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