Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Refugee Week

It's Refugee Week, which seems a fairly good excuse to look at resources from recent years which examine various aspects of the experiences of refugee and asylum-seeking children in the UK.

Several reports have covered the circumstances of children when they first arrive in the country. The Office of the Children's Commissioner has investigated this topic by publishing Landing in Kent: the Experience of Unaccompanied Children Arriving in the UK in February of this year, and Claiming Asylum at a Screening Unit as an Unaccompanied Child in 2008. Also useful is Families New to the UK: Confident Families in Cohesive Communities, a report released by the 4Children charity earlier this year.

The body which is responsible for monitoring migration is the UK Border Agency. In 2009 they published a Code of Practice for Keeping Children Safe from Harm, which outlines the procedures which are in place to protect children's interests.

A number of charities have carried out studies which examine services available to refugee families and the difficulties that they can face in adapting to a new country. Some of these include:
Although now a few years old, Jill Rutter's 2003 report Working with Refugee Children still contains plenty of useful information on how immigrant children can be supported. Also worth a read are the OECD's 2009 publication What Works in Migrant Education? and a report from the CfBT Education Trust entitled Supporting Asylum Seeker and Refugee Children which was published in 2007.

Finally, for a more local flavour, in February 2009 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published Empowering Birmingham's Migrant and Refugee Community Organisations, with a view to influencing future policy in this area.

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