Symposium 2

Uncertain Journeys – Symposium 2

Moving Worlds – Identity, belonging and liminality for separated children seeking asylum

Tuesday 11 March 2014, 10am – 4pm. Royal Holloway Building, 11, Bedford Square, London WC1 (entrance on Montague Place).

This symposium explored the concepts of identity and belonging for separated children seeking asylum in the context of change and transitions.

Separated children seeking asylum have to move across countries, communities, families, and as individuals from adolescence to adulthood. The symposium considered how young people seeking asylum manage the shifts and the fixities in the construction of identity, and connections between issues of identity, belonging, security and social justice.

This symposium included a presentation on adolescent identity development, as well as research undertaken with young people and also included the perspectives of mental health, social work and legal practitioners.

The symposium explored the following areas:

  • During these liminal periods of transition and uncertainty what contexts and factors promote and inhibit the development of positive identities and sense of belonging for separated children and young people seeking asylum?
  • What impact does the age assessment and immigration processes have on young people’s construction of identity?
  • How can professionals and other adults nurture positive identity, a sense of belonging and promote emotional well-being for separated children and young people seeking asylum?

The programme can be found here: Symposium2 identitybelonging-info programme

For a summary of the main themes of the discussion see Symposium2- summary paper

Powerpoint slides from presentations:

Mervi Kaukko (University of Oulu, Finland) – Gender and cultural sensitivity in nurturing positive identity and a sense of belonging of unaccompanied minors. Mervi Kaukko UJ2

Helena Kaliniecka (Dost Centre) – Dost: A 360 degree community approach. Dost UJ2

Gillian Hughes (Tavistock Centre) – Refugee adolescents without parents – psychological responses to approaching age 18 and the use of strengths-based narrative approaches. Gillian Hughes UJ2