Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers - FAMIMOVE


FAMIMOVE – FAMIlies on the MOVE: The coordination between international family law and migration law – is an international project co-funded by the European Commission under the JUST-2022-JCOO program.

The project aims to improve the protection of migrant children and families by bringing actual practice more in line with EU goals and values, such as the protection of fundamental rights and best interests of the child. It also seeks to provide more effectiveness to EU objectives through a better coordination of instruments in overlapping fields, such as Regulations in private international law in family matters and migration law rules.

The Consortium is coordinated by Prof. Marta Pertegas Sander (University of Maastricht) and is made of the following: Prof. Bettina Heiderhoff (University of Münster), Prof. Costanza Honorati (University of Milano-Bicocca); Prof. Fabienne Jault (University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), Prof. Ulf Maunsbach (Lund University), Prof. Orsolya Szeibert (Eötvös Loránd University) and Prof. Jinske Verhellen (Ghent University). Each Partner is further supported by colleagues with expertise in cross-cutting fields, thus bringing together experts who are representatives from a large range of European regions.

Project duration: 24 months (1 January 2023 - 31 December 2024)

Total Project Cost: €863,584.70

Total EU Contribution: €777,226.23

Project description

At the interface of family and migration law, one can frequently observe deficits in the protection of children and family relationships. This is often due to the fact that the various players, such as migration authorities, judges and administrative authorities, court officers, welfare services, have too little knowledge of private international law instruments and their coordination with other substantial laws, such as EU- and national migration law. Sometimes, there are also deficits at the legislative level.

FAMIMOVE’s general objective is to contribute to the effective and coherent application of the EU acquis in the field of international family law, in particular by ensuring more awareness of international child protection instruments applicable to migrant children among critical stakeholders (e.g. migration and asylum authorities, child protection authorities, NGOs, lawyers, judges).

The project will benefit from a far-reaching research method, based on a large-scale collection of comparative empirical data through 7 awareness raising seminars in each of the partners’ countries, followed by analysis of good practices, desk research, implementation of 3 transnational pilot projects relating to key issues of international child protection in a migration context (cross border recognition of guardianship, kafala and child marriage) and a final congress and an academical publication. It also aims to providing practical recommendations to the relevant agencies and institutions across the EU for a more coordinated approach in cross-border civil cases relating to migrant children.



These are the objectives of FAMIMOVE:

  • Mapping how relevant authorities responsible for migration issues apply the instruments of international family law and child protection and assessing the level of knowledge of these instruments that such authorities possess
  • Disseminating information and knowledge about the relevant instruments of international child protection, including the recent Brussels II-ter Regulation, and improving the protection of children by bringing actual practice more in line with stated goals and values
  • Ensuring solid transnational network-building and active cooperation among different civil protection and migration authorities responsible for migrant children, by bringing practitioners of these fields more closely together and improving their ability to cooperate
  • Connecting the fields of international family law and migration law through targeted approaches to practitioners in each field

Role of Ghent University

The Private International Law Institute at Ghent University (Prof. Jinske Verhellen and PhD researcher Leontine Bruijnen) coordinates WP4 of the project. Together with Prof. Ellen Desmet of the Migration Law Research Group, Ghent University will also organize an awareness raising seminar in Belgium (WP2) and conduct desk research (WP5).




Prof. Jinske Verhellen
Department of Interdisciplinary Study of Law, Private Law and Business Law
Phone number: +32 9 264 68 30

Funding info

vlag plat funded by the eu.JPG

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.