Children's Credibility: A multidisciplinary approach

08 Jul 2015

Last week Dr. Zoe Given-Wilson presented her chapter in the second multidisciplinary training manual of the Credo project, at the joint launch at No. 5 Chambers with Asylum Aid and UNHCR London. Thanks to the Credo project Zoe has been able to complete a thorough review of the psychology literature on issues facing young people seeking asylum, including the development of autobiographical memory (some aspects don’t develop until as late as our 20s!), the effects of trauma on children, and how depression and anxiety can affect how they present in the asylum procedure. This work underpinned her contributions to UNHCR’s final report of the project and her chapter in the training manual.

"Free child balancing"

Photograph by D. Sharon Pruitt @ Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons license

CSEL’s research initially focused only on adults seeking asylum, but over the years we often had requests for equally sound research about children. Thanks to the Credo project we were able to engage Zoe, a specialist in children and young people, to allow us to cover this less well understood group.

Zoe’s re-appearance from her maternity leave last week also marked our successful bid for funding for Zoe to write up and submit her work for peer-review and publication in the scientific literature. Once her two papers have been published in high-impact scientific journals they will be available for citing and using in decision-making, case-work, training, and support work for young people in need of protection from persecution.

As with our adult research, through the Evidence into Practice training workshops and other presentations and ad hoc training, it will be crucial for us to be able to disseminate this work on unaccompanied children seeking asylum as widely as possible - to ensure that decision making for them is also based on the best quality evidence available. We will need to secure support to maintain our capacity to do this. If you can help us undertake and maintain this work, please get in touch.