As documented in this report, most unaccompanied minors have little option but to remain in highly precarious situations in countries of first asylum. Others will go forth in search of sanctuary. Each year since 2010, the number of children arriving unaccompanied in the USA has doubled. It is estimated that 60,000 unaccompanied children will reach the USA in 2014. Though not on the same scale, other western states have also seen a significant increase in asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in recent years.
Understanding why the international protection regime is failing to make effective use of one of the most important tools at its disposal – resettlement – is of critical importance. What are the obstacles? At what stage of the process do they occur? And what can be done to remove them? These and many other related questions provided the motivation for this research project.