Harris, P. (2019). Nurturing the learning and development of children who are refugees. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal. Special issue presenting position papers, 22(2), pp. 26 – 34.
Original Position Paper
Nurturing the learning and development of children who are refugees
This position paper provides a plea for children who are seeking asylum as refugees to be detained in an environment that supports their health, wellbeing, early education and care. Being detained in a refugee facility can lead children to suffer chronic fear, chaos, unstable access to food and water, and the witnessing of atrocities (Silove, Ventevogel, & Rees, 2017). Children who are refugees usually have suffered traumatic events and are entitled to “recovery and reintegration” in a safe environment that nurtures their health and wellbeing, and where freedom and equality prepare them to prosper as an individual within society. Although Australia is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children being detained in Australian refugee camps are vulnerable to depression, and this experience may cause them to adjust in developmentally dangerous ways (Minas, et al., 2013).
Key words: Refugees, asylum seekers, trauma, children’s rights, wellbeing, vulnerable children.
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