Knowledge of the Unknown Child: A Systematic Review of the Elements of the Best Interests of the Child Assessment for Recently Arrived Refugee Children

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Abstract

Decision-making regarding an asylum request of a minor requires decision-makers to determine the best interests of the child when the minor is relatively unknown. This article presents a systematic review of the existing knowledge of the situation of recently arrived refugee children in the host country. This research is based on the General Comment No. 14 of UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. It shows the importance of knowing the type and number of stressful life events a refugee child has experienced before arrival, as well as the duration and severity of these events. The most common mental health problems children face upon arrival in the host country are PTSD, depression and various anxiety disorders. The results identify the relevant elements of the best interests of the child assessment, including implications for procedural safeguards, which should promote a child rights-based decision in the asylum procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)185-203
Number of pages19
JournalClinical Child and Family Psychology Review
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2016

Keywords

  • Refugee children
  • Mental health
  • Best interests of the child assessment
  • Decision-making
  • Asylum
  • ASYLUM-SEEKING CHILDREN
  • POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER
  • MENTAL-HEALTH PROBLEMS
  • UNACCOMPANIED REFUGEE
  • FOLLOW-UP
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS
  • YOUNG REFUGEES
  • MINORS
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • TRAUMA

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