From September 28th to 29th, prof. dr. Sabine Lee, PD dr. Heide Glaesmer, and ESRs Amra Delic and Saskia Mitreuter attended the conference “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Unaccompanied Minor Refugees” in Hanover, which was organized by PD dr. Heide Glaesmer, dr. Yuriy Nesterko, and dr. Susan Sierau from the University of Leipzig and funded by VolkswagenStiftung.´
Unaccompanied minor refugees belong to the refugees most in need of protection. Research has shown that unaccompanied minor refugees have often been subjected to discrimination and have often experienced difficult developmental or even traumatizing experiences before, during and after the flight. In this light, much more detailed research on the adjustment process of unaccompanied minor refugees is needed. There are great efforts to improve interdisciplinary collaboration and to establish effective prevention approaches to enhance different protective factors, as well as adapting intervention strategies to the needs of traumatized children, with special respect to unaccompanied minor refugees.
The main goals of the conference were to connect young researchers with senior researchers in the field of Unaccompanied Minor Refugees (UMR) and to enable an international and interdisciplinary exchange of practical experience and scientific work that has been done in this area.
All presented topics sparked a lively debate amongst the approximately 40 participants and covered a wide range of topics from psychological well-being and traumatic stress, flight experiences and how they impact well-being over culture sensitive diagnostics and different types of therapeutical approaches towards dealing with well-being of UMR and issues of belonging, acculturation, and identity over attitudes towards UMR in different countries and legal issues, education, and children’s rights.
Keynote speakers included prof. Ilse Derluyn from Ghent University in Belgium and prof. emer. John W. Berry from Queen’s University, Kingston in Canada and National Research University, Moscow in Russia.
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If you are interested in the conference reader, please contact Saskia Mitreuter (Saskia.Mitreuter@medizin.uni-leipzig.de)