Oxfam Novib warns of the dangers young refugees in Europe face when they are 18 years old. According to the Development Assistance Organization, its own research shows that young refugees in this category are often homeless and end up in danger and risk of exploitation.
The research was conducted in France, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. “If we look at the practices of these five European countries, we will find that they have no protection and support for this age group at all. Therefore, they have had a lot of trouble in integrating into Europe and finding their place in Europe,” Elselijn Mulder said Oxfam Novib.
Regarding the Netherlands, the report states that most of the support provided to underage asylum seekers disappears as soon as they reach the age of 18. Those with refugee status lose assistance from the Nidos Foundation, which, among other things, provides guardianship for unaccompanied minors. Once an undocumented youth reaches 18 years of age, they lose their rights to housing, social services, and education.
18-year-old is no longer a child
“For refugee children, due to the lack of legislation to protect them, turning 18 means losing support,” Mudd said. “These young people are no longer considered children under the law and end up on the streets without any help.”
According to the report, Europe lacks coherent policies. In addition, young people cannot get enough language courses and often do not know what their rights are. Oxfam hopes that EU countries will simplify their asylum procedures, establish guardianship arrangements, and create more opportunities for vocational training.