3. According to UNICEF Spain’s information, what is the degree of integration of migrant and refugee children in Spain? What are the main barriers to this integration?
There are challenges, undoubtedly. In general, migrant children belong to the group of children most affected by child poverty, abandonment and failure at school.If we look at the most vulnerable groups of migrants (unaccompanied children, refugees, or children of migrants in irregular situations), the barriers multiply.
Refugee children are being hosted by a system with insufficient resources, compromising their physical and psychological well-being. This is particularly affecting those who arrive in places with more refugee saturation, and those whose families finish their official reception period without work or housing.
Unaccompanied migrant children face significant violations of their rights, which are caused by insufficient resources, outdated and uncoordinated practices, or complex and slow paperwork. It is a great paradox that their passage through the child protection system does not always represent a path to real integration. There are children who disappear from the system without follow-up, teenagers who do not get to legalize their situation or who do not access quality training.
Vacancies for children reaching full age are very few, leaving many of them in absolute social marginalization. This leads them to adopt survival strategies. In addition, unaccompanied migrant children are also confronted every day with stigma, racism and social rejection.
The comprehensive protection of migrant and refugee children requires specific resources and a multidimensional approach, through articulated and complementary work between children-dedicated areas with those focused on migration, asylum, education, youth, health, justice, employment, vocational training, social protection, among many others.