What does integration mean for today’s young migrants in Britain?

Education is crucial for young migrants’ integration, but not enough. Security of status and fairness of status recognition are equally important.

The Age of Superdiversity

The Integration green paper places much emphasis on integrating young people in its proposals especially in relation to education. Dr Rachel Humphris and Dr Nando Sigona consider the factors that may determine success and failure of integration policy for this diverse cohort.

What does integration mean for a young migrant in Britain today? To what extent do young people’s aspirations meet the expectations of the British government? The answer to these questions is less straightforward that it may seem. Let’s take for example young unaccompanied minors. While resilience and capacity to adapt to a new society and build social connections may seem obvious candidates of a successful integration, it also happens that these very criteria are used by the Home Office to argue in asylum appeal hearings for the forced removal of unaccompanied asylum seeking minors to places like Afghanistan. The argument goes a bit like this: this young person…

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