Unpredictability, invisibility and vulnerability: Unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors’ journeys to Australia

Nardone, Mariana & Correa-Velez, Ignacio (2015) Unpredictability, invisibility and vulnerability: Unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors’ journeys to Australia. Journal of Refugee Studies, 29(3), pp. 295-314.

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Abstract

This qualitative study investigated the refugee journey of 17 males who arrived in Australia as unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors between 2009 and 2013, and were granted protection visas. The paper focuses on the four conceptual challenges of refugee journeys, as identified recently by BenEzer and Zetter: temporal characteristics; drivers and destinations; the process/content of the journey; and the characteristics of the wayfarers. The findings indicate that their mental journey has not yet ended and transcends the physical departure-arrival voyage. Although the primary drivers for the refugee journey were protection reasons, their desire to find a “better life” free from violence and exclusion also played an important role. The irregular character of the journey made it highly unpredictable, exposed these minors to extreme levels of vulnerability and the need to remain invisible, prompted short lived friendships with other asylum seekers, and created a pervasive feeling of mistrust towards smugglers and other people they met along the way. The study has highlighted the need for interventions to protect unaccompanied minors during their refugee journey.

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ID Code: 91525
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Unaccompanied minors, Refugee journeys, Irregular migration, Asylum seekers, Refugees
DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fev020
ISSN: 1471-6925
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Funding:
  • DIAC/Irregular Migration Research Small Grant
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Refugee Studies following peer review. The version of record [Nardone, Mariana & Correa-Velez, Ignacio (2015) Unpredictability, invisibility and vulnerability: Unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors’ journeys to Australia. Journal of Refugee Studies.] is available online at: http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/12/07/jrs.fev020
Deposited On: 04 Jan 2016 05:39
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2017 20:28

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