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Inside the asylum procedure for children:

researching experiences of young asylum seekers



Description:In recent years the question of migration became politically dominant. In criminological science a growing interest in the matter is observable in the introduction of new theoretical concepts such as "crimmigration ". Children who migrate seem unable to escape their criminalization. However, according to a children’s rights approach, children who migrate are vulnerable and "at risk” and entitled to special care and guarantees. However, there is a clear tension between this approach which is argued to be “in the best interest of the child,” and the desire, through “asylum interviews” to tease out the veracity to a young asylum seeker claim that they need to be granted protection. It remains unclear how these procedures and rights are experienced by those directly subjected to them. This research project will, on the one hand, render the asylum procedure visible by observing asylum interviews with young asylum seekers, and on the other, we will render their experiences visible, by collaborating with young asylum seekers in Brussels’ OKAN-classes (for young newcomers who do not speak Dutch), and through art based projects. The purpose of this scientific research are twofold. First, we will develop empirical insight into asylum procedures with children (‘s rights, giving us a clearer understanding how social exclusion (or the risk of being excluded) influences participation and experiences. Secondly, we aim to address the methodological, ethical, and theoretical challenges that arise when young asylum seekers voices are heard.

Outputs: Scientific contributions, scientific activities, exhibition.

Relevant publications:


Coordinator: Prof Els Dumortier

ResearcherMarijke Van Buggenhout

Funding: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek  (FWO)

Duration: 2019 - 2023