Project Researchers

Project Description

There is a growing body of evidence on the impacts of forced migration and protracted refugee situations. Studies have documented that many refugee families, including youth and children, have experienced violence, wars, and persecution. Often, refugee families have to flee their homes on short notice and endure long journeys through inhospitable lands and waters. Refugee children and youth may witness the deaths or disappearances of family members during migration journeys. Between 2% and 5% of these refugee children and youth are unaccompanied or separated. Every year, Canada receives between 300 and 500 unaccompanied and separated refugee youth and children. There is very little Canadian evidence on how refugee children and youth are impacted by and respond to loss/ death, missing/disappearance or protracted separation of family members. Evidence is also thin on what kinds of supports and services are needed for these refugee children and youth. Policy implications are significant as family members can be given asylum in separate countries, further exacerbating the trauma experiences for children and families. This community-based research project will identify policies and services that can support these youth better. Key research questions are: How do experiences of loss, disappearance, or protracted separation of one or more family members due to war, conflict, persecution, or forced migration affect refugee children/youth and their families in terms of postmigration settlement and wellbeing? What kinds of services and supports can promote wellbeing of these refugee children/youth and their families?