University of Bath

The experiences of unaccompanied children in the UK asylum system

PhD candidate Fran Johnson presents findings from her fieldwork concerning the experiences of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in England.

14 May 20191.15pm
14 May 20192.45pm
A young man sits in a skate park
How do unaccompanied children fare in the UK asylum system?

Fran Johnson will present findings from her PhD fieldwork of 2017, concerning the experiences of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in a city in southern England.

The talk will briefly set out the asylum system for unaccompanied children in the UK, identifying the expectations of the presentation of child asylum seekers within the asylum system and the failures of the asylum system to recognise the contextualities of childhood.

Fran will present the testimonies of three of the young men with whom she spent time during the fieldwork months. These testimonies demonstrate harsh and protracted processes for young people seeking protection. Fran's work seeks to elucidate the understandings of vulnerability and genuineness underpinning experiences such as those of the three young men. Fran's talk will ask what space there may be for the agency of the young people within this system and she suggests that this may be found in both the acquiescence and refusal to 'play the game'.