At the crossroad: Unaccompanied and separated children in the transition to adulthood in Italy
The estimated 60,000 young refugees and migrants who arrived in Italy as unaccompanied children between 2014 and 2018, and who have since turned 18, require ongoing support to ensure their successful transition into adulthood.
UNICEF, UNHCR and IOM highlight the ‘triple transition’ young refugees and migrants face when they turn 18 years old – from adolescence to adulthood, from living in one country to another, and through the emotional pain and trauma experienced when leaving home and during dangerous journeys.
The report outlines factors that hinder young refugees and migrants’ transition into adulthood. These include slow and complex procedures to obtain legal documents; discrimination and racism; difficulty in accessing education and training and finding work; overcoming emotional trauma as well as the risk of violence, particularly for girls.
Factors supporting young refugees and migrants during this critical time in life include positive relationships with peers and guardians; access to school, vocational training and employment opportunities, as well as safe and adequate housing.
In the report, the three UN Agencies provide key recommendations to Italian authorities and the European Commission.