Integration of young refugees in the EU: good practices and challenges


Date of publication:  01 Nov 2019 Publisher:  European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights

Over 2.5 million people applied for international protection in the 28 EU Member States in 2015 and 2016. Many of those were young people, who are likely to stay and settle in the EU. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights interviewed 160 refugees and 400 frontline workers in 15 locations across six EU Member States: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden.

The report paints a multifaceted picture with many good initiatives and promising practices. It also shows major gaps and challenges, many of which remain unaddressed. It reveals that measures taken in one policy field often affect the degree to which individuals are able to enjoy their rights in other fields.

The report identifies two critical moments for our attention: the transition from asylum applicant to a person granted international protection and the transition from childhood to adulthood upon turning 18 years of age. During such transitions, people experience gaps in rights and services, which risk undermining their pathway to social inclusion. Sufficient, consistent and systematic support from lawyers, social workers and guardians emerge from the research as a key factor for successful integration.

The report highlights good, local policy initiatives from each country. Examples include:

  • financial support for individual housing of asylum applicants who are part of the reception system, in Vienna, Austria;
  • fast-track integration support to enter the labour market in Sweden;
  • a Youth Guarantee financial assistance scheme available for young refugees in France;
  • a mobile app in seven languages on life in Germany.

The report covers the following topics:

  • Length of asylum procedures
  • Family reunification
  • Housing
  • Social welfare for status holders
  • Mental health
  • Education for children
  • Adult education and vocational training
  • Vulnerability to crime
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European Union

This project is funded by: