Asylum seekers, children's rights and social work

Briskman, L and Cemlyn, S 2003, 'Asylum seekers, children's rights and social work', Child and Family Social Work, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 163-178.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Asylum seekers, children's rights and social work
Author(s) Briskman, L
Cemlyn, S
Year 2003
Journal name Child and Family Social Work
Volume number 8
Issue number 3
Start page 163
End page 178
Total pages 16
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Abstract Although it is only a minority of displaced and persecuted people globally who seek refuge in 'Western' countries, they meet an increasingly hostile reception. This paper focuses on the situation facing children seeking asylum with or without their families in Britain and Australia, and the implications for children's rights and for social work. The policy background and its racist foundations in both countries are outlined. Despite geopolitical differences, there are unnerving parallels. Legislative changes and policy complexity signal increasingly punitive attitudes towards asylum seekers. The situation of children and families in the community is discussed in terms of the exclusion of asylum seekers from basic rights, and specific issues for separated children. Even more damaging is the incarceration of children and families in detention centres, and the emerging research is explored. In both countries there is widespread flouting of children's rights, and children also feature as pawns in ideological contests. However, they also act autonomously and illustrate an inclusive model of citizenship. The role of social workers in the statutory and voluntary sectors is considered, and the paper concludes with a discussion of the challenges for social work of avoiding collusion with repressive policies and actively promoting human rights.
Keyword(s) asylum
children's citizenship
children's rights
detention
social work
DOI - identifier 10.1046/j.1365-2206.2003.00281.x
Copyright notice © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN 1365-2206
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