European Youth Migration Forum Celebrate Human Rights Summer Camp Success

Posted On: March 13, 2014

IRC Youth GraphicMedia Release, 13 March 2014

Last night at Third Space in Smithfield, members of the European Youth Migration Forum (EYMF), an Irish Refugee Council (IRC) youth project, reflected upon and celebrated the fruition of their hard work last summer.

Two human rights focused summer camps, kindly hosted by Dublin City University, were organised by the IRC for young people on asylum law in June and July of last year. The camps were open to young people who are currently in the asylum process, or who have been through it, and Irish youth who expressed an interest in becoming involved.

The first camp, a 3-day overnighter, was attended by 7 youth facilitators who learned about the ins and outs of the asylum process in Ireland.  These facilitators then ran the July camp, which was open to children and young people up to the age of eighteen. The result was a multimedia guide to the asylum process for children and young people, by children and young people.

Seeking Asylum in Ireland – A Guide for Children’ provides insight into the asylum process minors in Ireland go through. It includes a video and a booklet for all users to explore and engage with the asylum system from a young person’s perspective, as well as a useful list of organisations that provide support and services for young people seeking asylum in Ireland. Luke McDermott from the EYMF said that,

“The video features a step-by-step introduction to the different stages of seeking asylum, for example, arrival in Ireland and the interview process. The overall objective of this project is to make the application process less scary by letting children know what to expect.”

 Samantha Arnold, the Children and Young Persons’ Officer with the IRC went onto say,

 “The importance of young people having accessible, easy to understand information about seeking asylum in Ireland cannot be over stated. This project gives young people, who are often excluded from the discussion, a voice. Enabling participation in matters that affect them is in line with the convention on the rights of the child. A convention we must all work to uphold and adhere to.

 Local photographer Turlach O Brion, who did the photography for the project, displayed some of his collection for the celebration. They will be on display at Third Space in Smithfield until April. The European Youth Migration Forum would like to extend a warm thank you to Third Space for hosting the event.

ENDS

Contact: Caroline Reid, Communications Officer: 085 858 5510 / caroline@irishrefugeecouncil.ie

Notes to the editor:

–          Captioned photos for use have been sent to picture desks and are available for use upon request

–          The IRC works to promote best practices for the protection of the rights of children and young people, including separated children, at a national level through awareness raising, policy development, networking and advocacy.

–          EYMF developed as a result of the IRC’s weekly drop-in service for a group of young people interested in participating in the work of the IRC. The group consists primarily of aged-out minors. The group worked hard to organise the summer camp and finalise the video project. They have refocused their work to include European actions with the support of the Separated Children in Europe Programme.

–          Separated children are defined as children less than eighteen years of age who are outside their country of origin and separated from their parents’ and/ or their previous legal/customary primary caregiver.

–          The term aged out minor refers to separated children who have turned eighteen; at this point, they begin the transition to Direct Provision accommodation.  They are often dispersed to a new county losing contact with their families, social workers, aftercare workers, schools, support networks and friends. These young people find themselves in shared accommodation with no supports and living on very little.  These young people are at risk of being re-traumatised, exploited or even trafficked.

–          The IRC acts as the Irish national focal point for the Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP) Network.  The SCEP Network seeks to improve the situation of separated children through research, and shared policy and advocacy at national and regional levels. Age assessment, guardianship systems, returns, and trafficking are the priority areas of SCEP.

–          If you would like to support this work, please follow our ‘Donate’ link on the IRC home page

–          For more information on the project and to track its development, follow us on www.facebook.com/separatedchildren

Turlach O Brion Photography: https://www.flickr.com/photos/92250756@N07/