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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/225619
- Asylum, children's rights and social work
- Cemlyn, Sarah; Briskman, Linda
- 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.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Child and Family Social Work, Vol. 8, no. 3 (Aug 2003), pp. 163-178
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1607 Social Work
- Asylum seekers; Children; Citizenship; Detention centres; Human rights; Immigration detention; Social work
- Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2003 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
- Peer reviewed