Unaccompanied Refugee Minors – Findings from a Research Project
Avainsanat:refugees, migrants, integration, unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers
The number of unaccompanied refugee minors seeking asylum in Europe has risen rapidly. This puts pressure on the receiving countries and calls for good integration policies. On the one hand, these asylum seekers are children and thus should be treated as migrants in a vulnerable situation requiring special care according to their needs, but on the other hand the receiving countries seek to limit the number of asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children. Attempts have been made to harmonize policies and procedures in Europe, but they still vary signifi cantly between the countries. This research showed that Finland and the other Nordic countries have fairly well functioning reception systems based on the best interest of the child, but there are problems related to insuffi cient cooperation between authorities and shortcomings in language training, education and labor market support.