Being young and out of place

FMR 40
August 2012

Being displaced involves not just a change of physical location but a dislocation of many aspects of normal life, and young people may be particularly susceptible to being physically and socially ‘out of place’ during this period of their lives. FMR 40 examines the stresses of ‘being young and out of place’, explores young people’s needs and coping strategies, and asks why relatively little attention is paid to their rights and needs. It also includes articles on other subjects such as national IDP policies in Afghanistan and Nigeria, resettlement in Argentina, mental health in Lebanese camps and why some issues make it onto the international agenda while others do not.

Contents

Sarah Maguire

If young people are to live productive fulfilling lives, the international community needs to pay far greater attention to their vulnerabilities, their potential and their rights.

Lauren Healy

In a protracted refugee setting like Dzaleka, where multiple generations are born and raised, young refugees are struggling to hold on to hopes and dreams for a future that does not include the label of ‘refugee’.

Yara Romariz Maasri
Katarzyna Grabska

Young Sudanese refugees may benefit from greater freedom and opportunities in camps but the need for bridewealth payments when they return to their homelands can impose severe restrictions on their choices and integration prospects.

Anna Skeels and Monika Sandvik-Nylund

In order to keep children and adolescents safe, and improve their chances of living fulfilling lives, we need to listen and respond to their views and opinions on matters that affect them.

Gloria Lihemo

As well as suffering the obvious side-effects such as missing parental affection and guidance, unaccompanied displaced youth also suffer from being stigmatised by some members of the host communities.

Alejandro Valencia Arias

The relationship between poverty, inequality and conflict exacerbates youth migration from rural areas.

Christina Clark-Kazak

Young people who migrate without their parents develop peer networks and may not be inherently more vulnerable than those with inter-generational networks.

Tamara Velásquez

A young adult from rural Colombia assesses feelings of loss and isolation having being forced to flee to Costa Rica.

Giorgia Doná

The transition from childhood into adulthood is particularly complex for young people of mixed ethnic backgrounds who experience being ‘out of place’ twice: as young adults and as ethnically mixed. The challenges are clear in Rwanda.

Ankur Datta

History, inheritance and uncertainty affect the experience of being male, young and displaced in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bridget Steffen with Zephania Owino

Children often choose the streets during crises and then remain trapped there.

Brad Kerner, Seema Manohar, Cécile Mazzacurati and Mihoko Tanabe

Particular vulnerabilities for adolescents during times of crisis and emergency are exacerbated by lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services. Greater attention to adolescents’ needs – and the use of innovative approaches to engage them – can help mitigate often life-threatening impacts.

Valentina Duque Echeverri

When given the opportunity, young people can work effectively together to promote local integration.

Martin Anderson and Claire Beston

In an urban environment, the relationship between an unaccompanied young refugee and his or her host family is critical, often making the difference between a life of protection and one of exploitation.

Miranda Worthen, Susan McKay, Angela Veale and Mike Wessells

Young mothers seeking reintegration after periods of time spent living with fighting forces and armed groups face exclusion and stigma rather than the support they and their children badly need.

Saija Niemi

It has been a challenge for many young Sudanese to navigate Finnish education, traditions and habits, and for their families to make the journey with them.

Trupti Magecha, Shamser Sinha and Alex Sutton

Young forced migrants in London are challenging – and seeking to renegotiate – existing power relations.

Nathalie Lummert

With the right assistance and support, unaccompanied refugee youth can adapt and thrive in a new country while maintaining their cultural identity. 

Lauren Markham

The resettlement experience often pits high expectations against harsh realities. The greatest pressure to ‘succeed’ in this new world is often shouldered by the younger generation but one-to-one mentoring by community volunteers can support them in a variety of ways.

Haiti Adolescent Girls Network

General articles

Roger Zetter and Katy Long

If protracted – and often forgotten – situations of displacement are to be ‘unlocked’, the international community must circumvent the rigidity of existing solutions and search for new and innovative strategies.

Editorial Staff of the Kakuma News Reflector

A refugee-led news service in Kakuma camp has had to address various challenges – including physical threats – in its attempt to provide a voice for refugees and to tackle issues such as insecurity and corruption in the camp.

Inês Máximo Pestana

Persons invoking the same grounds for protection may benefit from different rights, depending on the status which is granted to him/her and in which EU country.

Nina Schrepfer and Dan Tyler

A recent commitment announced by the Government of Afghanistan to develop a national policy on internal displacement is timely. If carried out well in the lead up to transition, it will help the government to better protect and meet the needs of internally displaced communities across the country.

Bagoni Alhaji Bukar

There remain legal and policy challenges in the assistance and protection of internally displaced persons in Nigeria.

Fabio Forgione

Health agencies in refugee camps face the dual challenge of, firstly, convincing both camp populations and the international community that mental health disorders deserve treatment as much as any other illness – and, secondly, building enough trust to encourage people to seek that treatment.

Liana Chase

Addressing high rates of suicide among resettled Bhutanese refugees calls for culturally appropriate, community-based approaches to mental health care.

Paulo Cavaleri

Argentina’s human rights-based migration policy has helped regularise regional migrant flows and has also benefitted refugees with special protection needs. Far from jeopardizing the local economy or undermining social cohesion, migrants and resettled refugees have been instrumental in Argentina’s swift economic recovery in recent years.

Lindsey Kingston

The issue of statelessness highlights an important question: why do some issues make it onto the international agenda while others do not?

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