Children under 18 years of age, who are outside their country of origin, and separated from both parents and their previous/legal customary primary caregiver. Young people who fall into this category are under the care of the Health Service Executive (Tusla) in Ireland.

All children that have been given refugee status are entitled to the same rights as Irish children including the same access to education.

Children who are waiting for a decision on their protection application can attend primary and secondary school, but they are not entitled to free fees for college and must pay non-EU fees which they usually cannot afford. Remember, people seeking protection receive only €29.80 for children and €38.80 for adults. This must cover any additional expenses a person may have. It would take a long time to save enough for college fees.

When an unaccompanied child turns 18 and their application for protection is still pending they are moved from the care of the state into the Direct Provision system and become known as an “aged out minor”. Visit our policy page on Children and Young People to read more.