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Unaccompanied Minors: Law, Policy and Practice

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The Rivers Suite, Craiglockhart Campus

Edinburgh Napier Business School

219 Colinton Road

Edinburgh

EH14 1DJ

United Kingdom

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Workshop 1 - Reception Wednesday 17 May 2017

Venue: The Rivers Suite, Craiglockhart Campus.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are a vulnerable group: they live not only in a difficult situation as minor refugees staying in another country, but face other risks due to the absence of their parents, such as traumatic experiences, exploitation or abuse. Globally, according to UNHCR children make up 50% of the refugee community and up to 15 % are either unaccompanied or separated from their families.

Receiving states, such as the UK, typically view these children from a legal perspective as ‘refugees’ and ‘migrants’, rather than as ‘children’. It is predominantly this legal perspective that forms the basis on which the receiving state care system is built. This legalistic perspective contrasts sharply with the focus on the best interests of the child set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. The focus on the best interests of the child is holistic in its approach including within it the wider psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing of the child, an approach reflected in other articles of the Convention, such as Article 6 and, in particular, Article 22. This support is important where the child has suffered trauma and may present a risk to themselves and others as a consequence.

Recent research suggests that whilst various international NGOs and national agencies focus on seeking to provide appropriate emotional and psychological support and care, they fail to address those priorities articulated by the children themselves, for example, access to citizenship in the receiving state.

These concerns will be explored in a series of workshops drawing together policy makers, lawyers, social workers, psychologists and educationalists to explore these concerns in relation to unaccompanied child refugees in Scotland to identify durable solutions.

In this the first workshop, the focus is on Reception.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Ravi Kohli, Professor of Child Welfare, University of Bedfordshire

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Dr Sarah Craig (Glasgow School of Law),

  • Dr Mike Slaven (College of Social and Political Science, Edinburgh),

  • Dr Elena Gualco (University of Bedford) and

  • Catriona MacSween (Scottish Guardianship Scheme/Aberlour Trust).


Future workshops in the series are:

Workshop 2 – Protection Tuesday 6 June 2017

Venue: Scott Room, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22 - 26 George Street, Edinburgh.

Workshop 3 - Integration Friday 23 June 2017

Venue: The Rivers Suite, Craiglockhart Campus.

The Workshops are funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The Workshops are free.

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Date and Time

Location

The Rivers Suite, Craiglockhart Campus

Edinburgh Napier Business School

219 Colinton Road

Edinburgh

EH14 1DJ

United Kingdom

View Map

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