Resilience, Refugee Children and Children’s Rights

Author: Ina Lekkai
Institution: Independent scholar
Year of publication: 2019
Source: Show
Pages: 39-54
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/124/kie12403.pdf

In the light of recent world facts, there has been growing attention paid to refugee minors who, fleeing from violence, war, poverty and climate change, or seeking better opportunities, hope to reach safety in Europe. Challenging life experiences such as war, violence, forced displacement, etc., can potentially threaten children’s development. However, many succeed in turning their lives around and develop well despite such negative circumstances. Refugee children, often overlooked by immigration laws and policy makers, prove to be a particularly resilient group, very resourceful in mechanisms for overcoming life adversities. By taking this understanding of refugee minors as a starting point, this article provides an overview of research in the field of resilience, aiming to discuss the implications that tie refugee minors’ well-being to the human and children’s rights obligations that society bears towards them. The article concludes that there is an urgent need for interventions and programs which target factors that promote refugee children’s resilience in their design and implementation, informed by current knowledge of refugee children’s life and cultural background, and their self-ratings of negative and positive life events. The standards defined by human and children’s rights instruments and equity regarding children’s rights to achieve a good life should be a matter to be taken seriously for all children worldwide.


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