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

Over 2.5 million people applied for international protection in the 28 EU Member States in 2015 and 2016. Many of those who were granted some form of protection are young people, who are likely to stay and settle in the EU. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights interviewed some of them, as well as professionals working with them in 15 locations across six EU Member States: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden. This report presents the result of FRA’s fieldwork research, focusing on young people between the ages of 16 and 24.

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

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Annex: methodology and topic guides

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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.

In addition to that, the report identifies two critical moments, which require much more attention:

  • the transition from asylum applicant to a person granted international protection
  • 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. FRA’s research documented challenges relating to such transitions across the eight different but interconnected policy areas this report covers.

Sufficient, consistent and systematic support from lawyers, social workers and guardians emerges from the research as a key factor for successful integration.

It not only promotes the best interests of the child but also helps children and young adults with the multiple challenges they face, in particular during transition to adulthood or when receiving decisions on their legal status.

The report covers the following topics:

  1. Length of asylum procedures
  2. Family reunification
  3. Housing
  4. Social welfare for status holders
  5. Mental health
  6. Education for children
  7. Adult education and vocational training
  8. Vulnerability to crime