The Journey of Hope: Education for refugee and unaccompanied children in Italy

The study provides a comprehensive analysis of challenges facing refugee and unaccompanied minors' education in Italy.

Although the Italian legal framework provides a high level of protection for asylum-seeking and unaccompanied minors and a noticeably inclusive approach concerning the integration of these children into the education system, the research cautions that recent developments of the immigration legal framework concerning unaccompanied minors negatively impact the fulfilment of their rights, and in particular the right to education. The main areas of concern include the effective implementation of the legal framework on the ground, the absence of a systematic monitoring process of refugees' access to education and coordinated approach at national level, the attention to human resources and the development of dedicated support mechanisms. While many of the possible solutions call for more investment in terms of financial and human resources - both quantitatively and qualitatively - it is also obvious from the collected empirical evidence that the excellent practices developed by schools, teachers, and other education personnel on the ground as well as the expertise available among concerned stakeholders, could be better tapped to develop a more effective and coordinated approach to refugees’ education. In this regard, the increasing awareness and proactivity of the education authorities recently and the commitment to tackle these issues by education unions and their members have potential to allow refugee and unaccompanied minors to realise their full potential through education and to improve the quality of the Italian education system for all children.

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