AbstractsSocial Sciences

Unaccompanied children - the effects of asylum process

by Hallex Berry Nyame

Institution: Uppsala University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Unaccompanied children; statelessness; rightlessness; undocumented; totalitarianism; state sovereignty; national states; territorialism; discrimination; children’s rights; alienation; Social Sciences; Samhällsvetenskap; Master Programme in Human Rights; Masterprogram i mänskliga rättigheter; Human Rights; Mänskliga rättigheter
Record ID: 1356352
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-254314


This thesis provides a qualitative research of asylum seeking of unaccompanied children in Sweden. Children who find themselves traveling borders without company of a family member are in a very vulnerable position. In this thesis, the experience of unaccompanied children undergoing an asylum process in the Swedish jurisdiction is presented and the consequences of this process are also presented. With the creation of territorial boundaries embodied with an institution of state sovereignty, unaccompanied children finds themselves in a position of statelessness which produces a situation of rightlessness as they find themselves outside their own territories. This research suggests that, the territorial system provides great examples of unaccompanied children in a situation of statelessness even when they find themselves inside a new community. Even in this new state they do not automatically gain access to the community, instead through migration system, they must undergo investigations and procedures to prove that they have the rights to belong to that current community, a procedure that contributes to stress and other negative factors to the health of these children. From the findings of the interviews with unaccompanied children undergoing the process of seeking asylum and also unaccompanied children in hiding, it is seen that the asylum seeking process in the condition of unaccompanied children is characterized by the paradoxical system of national states, territorialism, totalitarianism, state sovereignty and an effort of maintaining human rights. The suggestion is that, the paradigm of territorialism and state sovereignty deprives unaccompanied children from what one in the Arendtian sense would call the right to have rights. As their journey to a new community starts off as a position of statelessness and with a 50% chance of returning back to that position. Their position slowly emerges from unaccompanied children, to a stateless adultescence and lastly to a forgotten undocumented adult.