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The Status Shift of Refugee Children in Settlement: An Analysis of the Norwegian Context

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image of The International Journal of Children's Rights

Drawing on the Norwegian context of the settlement of refugee families who have been granted a residence permit after applying for asylum, this article looks at how the incorporation of children's rights into domestic immigration policies appears to offer asylum-seeking children a better entry as 'active citizens' than is offered to their parents in the early stages of asylum. Later on during the asylum process, once families obtain a residence permit along with the right to settle, the focus of welfare policies shifts toward the emancipation of adults' integration as active new citizens. The article explores the reasons for that shift and identifies how the special status of refugee children seems to go off at a tangent when their whole family officially settles in the country. This transitional process highlights the duality between the state's recognition of the responsibility of parents, and the recognition of the rights of children as individuals.

Affiliations: 1: Norwegian Centre for Child Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology


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