Nordic Network for Research Cooperation on Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (NordURM)
In recent years, the number of unaccompanied refugee minors seeking asylum in the Nordic countries has increased. This has resulted in an emergent need for more research-based knowledge concerning the reception and resettlement of this group.
In the Nordic countries research on unaccompanied refugee minors is a rather new field of research. Currently most of the research consists of small-size projects, often carried out by individual researchers or PhD students. However, recently a few larger research projects have been initiated.
Unaccompanied refugee minors represent a heterogeneous group. Not only in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, but also in past experiences, current life situations and future prospects. Consequently, research on unaccompanied refugee minors requires a multidisciplinary approach. As a result, URM-research is not only a novel area of research in the Nordic countries, it is also scattered over many different scientific and professional disciplines.
The fact that there are many individual researchers and few research groups increases the need for coordination and cooperation of both research and research training. Besides, there is a genuine need for cooperation related to the development of comparative research projects between different Nordic countries.
A consolidation of Nordic research concerning reception and resettlement of unaccompanied refugee minors in the respective countries will promote the understanding of unaccompanied minors’ diverse and complex needs. The notion of the competent child and a child-centered, participatory research approach will be a prerequisite in the comparative Nordic research projects. Both the responses of welfare states to unaccompanied children’s needs for support and children’s own experiences and perspectives on the support and services supplied will be in focus in future comparative research projects.