Jones, Adele (2001) Child asylum seekers and refugees: rights and responsibilities. Journal of Social Work, 1 (3). pp. 253-271. ISSN 1468-0173

Summary: This article draws on research with young people affected by
immigration controls (Jones, 1998), other studies and relevant literature
to examine the conditions and treatment of children and young people
who seek asylum in the UK.
• Findings: The findings highlight the detention and impoverishment of
young asylum seekers and inadequacies in local authority provisions as
evidence of discriminatory treatment. The author argues that
contradictions between law and policy relating to children and those
concerned with immigration control, negative social constructions of
‘refugee’ and ‘immigrant’ and the masking of social inequalities in
dominant discourses of children’s rights are factors which contribute to
this situation.
• Applications: The focus of current child care policy within the UK is to
improve the quality and consistency of services to children in need, to
improve outcomes for children looked after (children separated from
birth parents) and to eradicate child poverty. The challenge for social
work is to extend this concern to children affected by immigration
controls. The author suggests that social workers have a major part to
play in reclaiming and revisioning children’s rights as a more inclusive
concept in order to address the impact of structural inequality and
discrimination on the achievement of rights. Although arising from work
in the UK, the findings are more widely applicable in that the need for
harmonization of domestic legislation with international agreements is
highlighted and in the appeal for a rights-based approach to social work.

Restricted to Registered users only

Download (115kB)
Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email