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Unaccompanied Minors in Germany and Israel

Conducted by:

Dr. Hadas Yaron Mesgena / School of Government and Society

Mr. Hannes Käckmeister / University of Education in Freiburg and University of Strasbourg

This paper presents a comparative research between Israel and Germany, concerning unaccompanied minors who escaped their country of origin and reached one of the countries discussed, without a parent or a guardian. The research examines the policies in both countries from administrative and legal perspectives, as well as the sense of identity of the unaccompanied minors who by now turned to be young adults, and the questions in connection to their future. The purpose of the research is to comprehend how different countries handle the tension between children's rights and the restrictions put on migrants and forced migrants, what are the implications of the way this tension is handled and what could be learned culturally, socially and politically about  different countries, in this case Israel and Germany, from the way countries define and manage unaccompanied minors.

The research was conducted in both countries by two researchers and is based on in depth interviews with unaccompanied minors and young adults , lawyers as well as post holders at NGO's  dealing with migrants and migrants' rights. The research is also based on written materials including court decisions and reports.    

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