"60,000 Young Refugees and Migrants Who Arrived in Italy Alone Need Ongoing Support Through Transition to Adulthood" – UN Agencies
The report highlights the ‘triple transition’ young refugees and migrants face when they turn 18 years old – from adolescence to adulthood, from living in one country to another, and through the emotional pain and trauma experienced when leaving home and during dangerous journeys. The factors that hinder young refugees and migrants’ transition into adulthood are slow and complex procedures to obtain legal documents; discrimination and racism; difficulty in accessing education and training and finding work; overcoming emotional trauma as well as the risk of violence, particularly for girls. Factors supporting young refugees and migrants during this critical time in life include positive relationships with peers and guardians; access to school, vocational training and employment opportunities, as well as safe and adequate housing.
“Having a clearer understanding of the factors that favour or hinder a positive transition from being a refugee child to becoming an independent, self-reliant and resilient adult will help states step up their efforts to protect not only refugee children, but also their successful transition to adulthood.” said Roland Schilling, UNHCR Representative for Southern Europe.
Recommendations to Italian Authorities
- Adopt an inter-sectorial national strategy to increase social inclusion for young refugees and migrants who have recently turned 18, as well a National Action Plan against racism, xenophobia and discrimination.
- Ensure the full implementation of Law no. 47/2017 on protection measures for UASC.
- Ensure young people have access to psycho-social support, health care, education, gender-based violence prevention and response, training and employment services.
- Provide information to young people on the dangers of getting involved in informal and illegal activities such as trafficking and sexual exploitation.
- Accelerate procedures to recognise foreign qualifications.
- Increase participation of young refugees and migrants in social and recreational activities.
Recommendations to the European Commission
- Facilitate effective cooperation between Member States in assessing the best interests of every child, and in implementing family reunification procedures - Establish a system to collect accurate data and information on current and former unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children to strengthen protection systems.
- Earmark resources under the upcoming EC Asylum and Migration Fund to strengthen and scale up the good practices identified in this report.
- Between 2014 and 2018, more than 70,000 unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children arrived in Italy by sea, 90 per cent of whom were between ages 15 and 17. It is estimated that at least 60,000 have turned 18 in the past five years.