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A personal view on “Beyond Survival. Improving intervention in Europe with Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children who fall through the protection system”, by F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno for UNICEF

[Leer esta entrada en español].

The document Beyond Survival. Improving intervention in Europe with Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children who fall through the protection system, that Pepa Horno, my colleague at Espirales Consultoría de Infancia, and me have written for UNICEF Spain and UNICEF France, has just been published, and it is available in two versions:

This is a technical publication that has to do with Child Protection, social intervention and human rights. In fact, we counted with the ideas and awareness of nearly a hundred professionals at an International Workshop in December 2019 in Madrid, that I co-facilitated (we explain more about it in our blog post in Espirales CI). However, it is also a very personal document for me.

On the one hand, Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children are very dear to me. I worked in Morocco for several years with children in street situation and I know of the difficulties there, what makes them risk their lives for the possibility of a better future. I also worked for several years in Madrid with at-risk youth, and many of them were unaccompanied migrant children, so I accompanied their steps in the difficulties of building a good future for themselves in Spain. And I still enjoy being able to speak with them in Moroccan Arabic, a language that I like very much. I hope that this document will help other professionals and the general public to have a compassionate regard to these children, and to care for their wellbeing. (More about my career path in my LinkedIn Profile).

On the other hand, this is currently a very sensitive issue, due to several factors. As main writer, I have used extensively Focusing with myself as a process to structure the ideas, and to find the adequate wording. The clues for more protective narratives need to come from an embodied awareness. I hope that this will bring clarity and also a deeper perspective to all this subject, with some of its intricacies made a bit more explicit.

In conclusion, it has been not only a professional challenge, but also a very personal process. I hope that you will enjoy it.

F. Javier Romeo


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