Unaccompanied Minors and Young Migrants in France : Challenges for a World-Wide Child Care System

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 11:45
Oral Presentation
Andrea BARROS LEAL, Laboratoire de Changement Social et Politique - Université Paris 7, France
This proposition focuses on young foreigners arriving in France without their legal guardians: the so- called “unaccompanied minors”. Since the years 1990 the migration of young minors by themselves challenges European countries to develop welcome policies regarding child care. If the International Convention on the Rights of Children establishes the responsibility of public authorities regarding the vulnerability of their situation, it is for us today to observe the specificities of educational-protective work and the mishaps of care provide to this population.

At first, this research focuses on the social care of these young people provided by the Aide Sociale à l’Enfance (ASE), a French institution of child protection, as well as the tensions produced by the encounter of two opposing institutional discourses within the care/host organizations: the child protection discourse and the regulation of migration discourse. Secondly, as a result of the current migratory situation, this research focuses, on the experience of young people who are not hosted by the ASE, those who are relegated outside the institution's walls.

Following an interdisciplinary approach, between clinical, sociological and philosophical fields, we propose to analyze the types of investments around this youth and focuses on the effects of a policy of “un-welcoming” referring subjects constantly to the condition of “not being". For the XIX ISA Congress, we propose to focuses on this youth who crosses borders in the search of a place to “be” an active social and political subject and found themselves confronted with the dimension of “not possible”, relegated to the margins of institutions. Analyzing the life story of three young migrants, their choices, paths, arrivals and projects for the future, we will approach the complexity of this migrant population and the challenges it engages world-wide.