Cover image: The Dream (2012) © Syed MosawiReproduced with permission of the artist, Syed Mosawi, who came to Australia as an unaccompanied refugee child. “The Artwork is a reflection of people who never give up and try hard to build a better world. I wish the world was a canvas so I could paint it free of intimidation and hopelessness, free of fear and distress, free of isolation and racism, free of hatred and darkness.”
This book has been written at a time when as many children are on the move as forced migrants as at any time in human history. In 2014, UNHCR estimated that more than 59 million people were on the move as refugees or ‘persons of concern’. At least half were children. Australia has not escaped this global phenomenon: young people feature prominently in both planned humanitarian migration and asylum flows.
Rather than focus on how children seek protection, this book is about what happens afterwards. Essays by distinguished professionals in the field examine the law, policy and practice governing how refugee children are admitted and ‘settled’ into Australian society. Topics range from the ethics of researching young people from refugee backgrounds; how children are selected for inclusion in managed programs for ‘resettlement’; through to the rules for the acquisition of citizenship. The centrepiece of the work, however, are essays on what can and should be done to support and assist young refugees after they enter Australia. The core premise is that settlement matters. How these young people are treated upon and after arrival can make or break their development and future wellbeing. Young people from refugee backgrounds have often experienced extraordinary hardships and challenges. Good settlement experiences can facilitate healing, reduce traumas associated with transition into a new society and create a solid foundation for growth and development into productive adulthood. In this collection the authors discuss examples of good policy and good practice in the shared endeavour of creating New Futures for these young people.
Foreword by Professor the Honourable Dame Marie R Bashir AD CVO
Notes on Contributors
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
Introduction: Creating New Futures
1. Researching the Experience of Refugee Children: Key Ethical Considerations
Mary Ann Powell and Anne Graham
2. Finding Refuge in Australia: How Law and Policies Affect the Entitlements of Children Entering as Refugees and Humanitarian Migrants
Mary Crock and Hannah Martin
3. The Strategic Use of Resettlement
Margaret Piper AM
4. Overview of Resettlement in the Global and Australian Context
5. Using Resettlement to Protect Vulnerable Refugee Minors
Margaret Piper AM and Graham Thom
6. Defining Refugee Youth Settlement and Why it Matters
Sandy Gifford and Edmee Kenny
7. ‘I Might Be OK but Don’t Leave Me Alone’: How Young People from Refugee Backgrounds View Settlement
Margaret Piper AM, Mitra Khakbaz and Soo-Lin Quek
8. Settling Well? An Examination of the Settlement Experiences of Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors in Australia
Carmel Guerra, Soo-Lin Quek and Mary Anne Kenny
9. Trauma and Recovery – The Mental Health of Young People from Refugee Backgrounds
Louise Newman AM and Ann Locarnini
10. The Health Story
11. Deaf Children and Youth from Refugee Backgrounds: Pressing Issues and Possible Solutions
12. The Education of Refugee-Background Students in Australian Schools
13. Refugee and Asylum Seeking Children and Family Reunion in Australia
Mary Anne Kenny and Ali Mojtahedi
14. Citizens in Their Own Right: Achieving Adequate Recognition of Children in Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship Framework
Kim Rubenstein And Jacqueline Field
The book provides the reader with an opportunity to explore discussions normally found in academic institutions and Think Tanks. It does this by exploring a variety of refugee issues concerning ethical considerations, laws and policies, strategic resettlement plans, psychological and health cases as well as philosophical argument about survival. … I would recommend [this book] as a standard textbook for university ethics, law, and political science classes or at least a recommended one.
Alexis N. Gage, Hearsay, June 2016, 75
This book is a collection of essays by law academics, lawyers, researchers and social workers. It offers a cross- disciplinary look at the law, policy and practice which applies to how refugee children are admitted and resettled into Australian society. … The core message of the book is? that the settlement experiences? of child refugees matter. Children from refugee backgrounds have often experienced severe trauma and hardships. Positive settlement experiences can facilitate healing and promote the child’s growth and development which benefits both the child and Australian society. The book is a useful and thought-provoking guide to the issues which emerge from the resettlement of child refugees in Australia.
Liz Hughes-Brown, Ethos, ACT Law Society, March 2016
These days, asylum seekers and refugees receive a great deal of attention from diverse sectors. However, the focus is rather narrow, with most of the debate confined to how many refugees Australia should take, the appalling conditions in which asylum seekers are detained on Manus Island and Nauru, and the extraordinary lengths to which the Australian government is prepared to go to ensure that the Australian population is kept in the dark about the abuse occurring in our offshore detention centres. There is little consideration given to what becomes of refugee children who are settled in Australia. … Given that more than half of the displaced people around the world are children and young people, and that children are particularly vulnerable, this book is a valuable resource for anyone working with, or concerned about, refugee children.
Paula Gerber, InPrint, Law Institute Journal Victoria, Jan-Feb 2016