World Refugee Day Conference: Responding to the Needs of Refugee Children and Young People

When: 9.30am, Tuesday 20 June 2017
Where: UCD - Venue TBC

Ireland has a long history of hosting refugee children, even if the numbers reaching Ireland have been small in comparison with other countries. In recent years, children and young people have been fleeing persecution and war in unprecedented numbers. Some of these children reach Ireland, either independently or through the relocation programmes from Calais and Greece. While refugee children, whether accompanied or unaccompanied, are often portrayed as vulnerable, their stories are also of fortitude, resilience and independence. This multi-disciplinary half day conference explored approaches to meeting the needs of children, both unaccompanied and accompanied, who are in the protection process. Themes included how care is provided to children, their agency and potential, recent attempts to reform the Irish reception system and any impact these reforms have had on young people, and projects lead by young people that aim to amplify their voice and experiences.

Conference programme

Opening Address: Teresa Blake, Senior Counsel & Member of Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Panel One: Unaccompanied Refugee Children

Chair: Dr Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, University College Dublin


Professor Ravi Kohli, University of Bedfordshire

Dr Ala Sirriyeh, Keele University

Panel Two: Accompanied Refugee Children

Chair: Tanya Ward, Chief Executive, Children’s Rights Alliance


Dr. Ciara Smyth, NUI Galway

Dr. Deirdre Horgan, University College Cork

Aoife Dare, Irish Refugee Council and young people from the European Youth Migration Forum

Closing Remarks: Nick Henderson, CEO, Irish Refugee Council

As there is high demand for this event please email Owen at if you have registered but can now no longer attend.