In this project, the quality of life of asylum seekers who are minors will be mapped in the following areas: Living conditions, care, health, diet, access to social networks and activities.The purpose of the project is to discover deficiencies in UDI's regulation of reception centres' operations which are significant to centre conditions and living standards among residents. Findings will contribute to the quality assurance of the reception centres and strengthen UDI's work on developing guidelines for operation of the centres and follow-up of reception services for single asylum seekers who are minors.
The project involves a mapping survery of all reception centres for single minors seeking asylum in Norway. In addition, five refugee reception centres and transit centres have been selected for case studies, where comprehensive methods are used to gain a more holistic picture of the operation of the reception centres, seen from various perspectives.The interviews include the reception centre managers, employees, representatives of the municipal health services, child protective services, and schooling for the residents. Interviews with residents are done as photo-initiated interviews where a selection of residents are invited to be photographed and tell about their lives at the centres. In addition, observation is used, both in the centres, during schooling and locally. The minors' gaurdians participate with their perpectives by answering a questionnaire expressly for this purpose.
Minors who seek asylum in a country without their parents or other guardians are in an especially vulnerable situation. They have often just completed a long and dangerous journey, and can also have lived through devastating and life-threatening disruption and existence before they left their home countries. The asylum application process and residence at a refugee reception centre is the start of a new epoch in their lives, in a new country, with an uncertain outcome. This psychological, social and cultural adjustment happens without a close carer, with great expectations, but also worries about their own futures and the futures of their relatives.
An evaluation of quality of life and care for single minors at refugee centres must take into account the particular phase of life of this group, with a time perspective and result that the residents feel powerless to influence. It must also take into account the fact that this concerns adolescents with a history of having had to take responsibility for themselves in especially demanding and dangerous situations. Adolescents' ambivalent variation between the need for care, dependence, trial periods and independence is triggered in particular ways. Our approach takes the particular characteristics of minor asylum seekers into account while the quality of life and care they receive is mapped and evaluated. urderes.
This research project has been commissioned by UDI in cooperation with the Institute of Social Science Research (ISF) and Telemark University College. The project began in 2011 og will be completed in autumn 2012.
Hilde Lidén, ISF is the project manager. Ketil Eide is participating from Telemark University, and
Randi Wærdahl, Ann Christin Nilsen and Knut Hidle are participating from Agder Research.