We are excited to announce a new collaborative project working with colleagues at Queen Mary University of London, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, and the Geffrye Museum of the Home, to look at the different meanings of ‘home’ for child refugees.
The project, Home for Refugee Children, focuses on the many different significances of home for displaced children, considering the materialities of homes lost and the practicalities of being displaced, homes in refugee camps, temporary and institutional homes, alongside issues of belonging and (in)security. The project will encompass home for refugee children both past and present and within and beyond Europe. With half of the world’s 21.3 million refugees are aged under 18, the research of this project offers a vital perspective on one of today’s most pressing global problems.
ULIP will play a central role in the project, building on the well-established work of the Paris Centre for Migrant Writing and Expression, much of which involves encounters with young migrants seeking new homes, often in the UK, but forced to forge temporary ones in France. Since 2008, nearly 200,000 unaccompanied minors have applied for asylum in Europe, including 96,000 in 2015 alone (Save the Children, 2016), meaning that ULIP’s unique position on the continent will offer particularly valuable insight for this project.
The project will make use of existing research expertise from the QMUL’s Centre for Studies of the Home, the Centre for Childhood Cultures, and the Centre for the Study of Migration, bringing together a team of cross-disciplinary researchers, post-graduate students, and visiting researchers. It will also contribute to the work of the Refugees welcome at QMUL initiative.
The collaboration will begin in earnest with a one-day workshop at ULIP, planned for later this spring, focusing on home for refugee children in London and Paris. The event will bring together academics, postgraduate students, NGOs practitioners, policy makers and activists across both cities. The day long workshop aims to strengthen the connections between ongoing research at QMUL and ULIP and to increase their impact on a wider public audience.
More information about the project and upcoming events relating to it will be posted on this page and can be found on the Home for Refugee Children website.