Assisting unaccompanied youth to integrate

Nathalie Lummert
With the right assistance and support, unaccompanied refugee youth can adapt and thrive in a new country while maintaining their cultural identity. For over 30 years, the United States has accepted unaccompanied children and youth referred by UNHCR for resettlement. However, unaccompanied refugee children can wait years in camps or urban settings before they are identified for resettlement, an average of three years in the case of children resettled to the US. With an average age of 15 at the
more » ... age of 15 at the time of arrival, refugee youth often struggle to integrate into their new cultural context while maintaining their cultural identity. Assisting their integration requires a comprehensive, often long-term, approach that involves families, communities and programme support services.