Young migrants – Is Europe creating a lost generation?
A report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) finds serious obstacles in the integration of young refugees that risk creating a ‘lost generation’. The report emphasises the interconnected nature of the factors that contribute to successful integration and identifies two critical, transitional moments in the lives of young refugees that require more attention:
- The transition from seeking asylum to being granted protection
- The transition from being a minor to an adult
The report finds gaps in rights and services during these transitional phases and examines these challenges as they relate to eight policy areas.
Recommendations for Member States include:
- Speed up asylum procedures.
- Implement swift and affordable family reunification procedures, limiting bureaucracy to a minimum.
- Refugee housing policies should be prepared for large-scale arrivals and meet education and employment needs.
- Ensure that refugees receive the social welfare benefits they are entitled to under EU law and consider providing these entitlements to subsidiary protection status holders needing support.
- Improve mental healthcare through efficient and early identification, referral and treatment of mental health issues.
- Integrate children into mainstream schools as early as possible and enhance support for schools hosting refugee children.
- Facilitate access to vocational training and higher education.
- Ensure that support of professionals (e.g., social workers, teachers, staff of reception facilities) is available to young asylum applicants and beneficiaries of international protection, as such support may play a key role in addressing risk factors that make them vulnerable to crime.