In many European countries, the number of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents has increased in recent years. Countries that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child must protect them, provide for their education and enable them to access the care. The administrative name currently adopted is that of unaccompanied minors (UM). Despite the commitment of European countries to welcome UMs, they often are in an uncomfortable position between their migrant status and their children status. In France, after a very brief takeover by the State upon their arrival on the territory, young people should taken in charge but the child protection service [“Aide Sociale à l’Enfance” (ASE)] and the territorial level that provides to their needs is the “department”. Their minority is often called into question. More other, when their 18th birthday comes, their protection can be interrupted, or, at best, extended until the age of 21, that become a new deadline for their administrative status. After 21, they must provide for their own needs by asking, if necessary, to universal services.

In a comparative perspective, we invite participants from European countries to present the main features of the policy for unaccompanied minors in their country and the concrete methods of implementing them. Several aspects can be developed: accommodation housing, access to schooling and training, access to health care, organization of educational support, status and follow-up to young people after 18 years. In this comparison, we would like to favour a sociological perspective that focuses on the concrete implementation of the reception and integration of these children in each country.


University of Lille

Centre Lillois d'Etudes et de Recherches Sociologiques et Economiques (Clersé - UMR 8019)

European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF)


9h30    Research into the development of unaccompanied minor refugees in foster care

Jorge F. del Valle, Amaia Bravo and Iriana Santos, GIFI Research Group, University of Oviedo

10h15  Research into the development of unaccompanied minor refugees in foster care

Johan Vanderfaeillie, Lore Van Den Daele, Lenny Trogh & Frank Van Holen, Belgium

11h00  Coffee break

11h15  Negotiating the transition to adulthood: Separated young people’s experiences in the “Nord”, France.

Amy Stapleton, Paula Mayock, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

12h00  Lunch break

14h00  Unaccompanied minors in France, results from ELAP

Lucy Marquet, Lecturer and Demographic Researcher, CLERSE, University of Lille, Associate researcher, INED-UR06

 14h45  Children, parents, migrants: categorizations and subjective perceptions of unaccompanied minors becoming parents

Claire Ganne, MCF, Univ. Paris-Nanterre, CREF, France

15h30  Coffee break

 16h00  Unaccompanied Minors in Denmark – Policy and Practice

Mette Lausten PR, VIVE – The Danish Centre for Social Science Research, Denmark

16h45  Accommodation, education, and wellbeing for unaccompanied refugee minors in high-income countries: findings from international systematic reviews and research in England

Ellie Ott, Research Fellow at the Rees Centre, Univ. of Oxford, UK

Organizing committee

Bernadette Tillard (PR), Sarah Mosca & Coralie Aranda (PhD students - CLERSE), Amy Stapleton (PhD student - Trinity college Dublin), Lucy Marquet (MCF)

Scientific Committee

Bernadette Tillard (Clersé UdL), Lucy Marquet (Clersé UdL), Hans Grietens (Groningen, Netherlands), Jorge Del Valle (Oviedo, Spain)

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