AbstractThe main theme of the thesis is the legal protection of unaccompanied asylum-seeking and separated children in the United Kingdom asylum and social care systems. The thesis investigates if the standard of legal protection conferred upon unaccompanied asylum seeking and separated children in the United Kingdom asylum and social care systems including durable solutions meet international law standards, protect and safeguard separated children and young persons.
The research achieves this by carrying out documentary research of pertinent literature, public documents, international human rights, refugee rights and child rights treaties; and United Kingdom domestic legislation. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted to generate data on the inner workings of legal protection in the United Kingdom, with specific focus on the childhood experiences of asylum and the impact of legal protection or its lack on the childhood experiences of unaccompanied children in the United Kingdom. The research involved interviews with former separated children, experts and professionals who implement the legal protection regime and policies.
the thesis analyses the international treaty benchmark standards and norms for the legal protection of unaccompanied asylum seeking and separated children and examines the compliance of the UK with their legal provisions. It establishes the domestic legal standards of legal protection, and practice of child asylum determination and social care.
The thesis argues for the international legal protection of unaccompanied and separated children based on a holistic system of international protection found in key international treaties chiefly the international bill of rights, the refugee Convention, the child rights Convention and the subsidiary protection framework in Europe. This results in obligations on the part of State Parties to the above international and regional treaties in this case the United Kingdom. It argues that the asylum and social care systems are equally responsible for the international legal protection obligations and should attain the objective through a best interest determination procedure that secures legal protection that is durable, while maintaining the human dignity of the unaccompanied child throughout the entire process.
|Date of Award||Dec 2014|
|Supervisor||Jean Allain (Supervisor) & Davy Hayes (Supervisor)|