Inter-agency Brief – Access to education for refugee and migrant children in Europe
Many children on both the Eastern and Central Mediterranean routes have left their countries of origin due to violence, deprivation and conflict, and most did not initially aim to travel to Europe. However, among those who eventually did undertake the journey to Europe, education was a key factor shaping their decision. Education is also a key element for refugee and migrant children’s social inclusion into host communities.
Three UN agencies are calling therefore on European States to increase resources and practical support for their school systems to ensure all refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children can access and stay in quality education.
In this inter-agency brief, IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF detail the obstacles children and adolescents born outside Europe face when trying to access education in Europe, including:
- Insufficient financial resources
- Not enough school spaces or teachers trained to work with refugee and migrant children
- Language barriers
- A lack of psychosocial support and limited catch-up classes. The latter are vital for children who have missed extended periods of schooling or have come from different education systems.
To help States tackle these challenges and address key data gaps, the paper gives examples of good and promising practices in education across Europe and makes a series of recommendations.