Young Refugees

The working group “Young Refugees” serves the networking and exchange of scientists who deal in their research with questions of refugee experiences and coping of children, adolescents and young adults as well as the institutional and political processing of refugee migration and its consequences with regard to this target group. It sees itself as a forum for the discussion of both current youth and socio-political developments as well as basic scientific questions.

Unaccompanied refugees are a particular focus of child and youth welfare in Germany. Here, the focus is on questions of participation, support needs, institutional structures and their significance for the integration and inclusion of young refugees. In addition, young refugees who are accompanied (by closer or more distant relatives or acquaintances) represent a group that has received little attention from aid institutions. Refugees in young adulthood are coming into focus due to the consequences of age assessment procedures and legal age of majority regulations, which (can) lead to uncertain residence prospects and changes in access to assistance.

Against this background, various disciplinary perspectives on the growing up of young people with refugee experience, the mechanisms, practices and discursive frames in the context of the host society with regard to educational and labor market participation, welfare state structures and norms that affect this target group, and thus ethical, legal, pedagogical, political, sociological, economic and many other dimensions are relevant. dimensions are relevant. Here, the effects of the partly contradictory orders of justification and forms of power of the refugee regime, to which the young refugees are exposed in contexts such as child and youth welfare, school, and many more, also become apparent. Of particular interest are questions about the interplay of subject-related perspectives and situations, institutional strategies and standardizations, and political logics and discourses.

In various formats (for example, series of contributions, statements, events), the above-mentioned questions are to be advanced in discourse and in the exchange of research projects and findings, and a contact point for questions and concerns about research with and on young refugees is to be created.


Nadia Kutscher
University of Cologne