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Children, politics and communicationParticipation at the margins$
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Nigel Thomas

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421845

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421845.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

Understanding silences and secrets when working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

Understanding silences and secrets when working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

Chapter:
(p.107) Six Understanding silences and secrets when working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children
Source:
Children, politics and communication
Author(s):

Ravi Kohli

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847421845.003.0007

This chapter examines how refugee and asylum-seeking children, when they have arrived in industrialised nations, often remain silent, or speak in guarded ways, about their lives and circumstances. It notes that not only their presence, but also their limited talk, can be the cause of suspicion among citizens of host nations. It looks at how silence and limited talk are used as powerful protective shields, when refugee children feel their sense of safety and belonging to be threatened in hostile contexts. It reviews research evidence about ways of establishing trust for refugee children, as a foundation for resettled lives. It proposes that only with the establishment of such trust, combined with an unthreatened future, can such children begin to talk about their lives in depth and detail.

Keywords:   refugee, asylum-seeking children, industrialised nations, limited talk, trust, resettled lives

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