An evaluation of the adequacy of child protection services for unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking children in Zimbabwe: A case study of Tongogara Refugee Camp.
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This qualitative study explored the extent to which services on offer at Tongogara Refugee Camp are meeting the bio-psychosocial requirements of unaccompanied minors. During their flight from conflict zones to places of safety, unaccompanied refugee children go through serious physical, cognitive and affective trauma which has deleterious effects on their well-being. In line with the principles of the best interests of the child, an unaccompanied child who enters another country for whatever reason must be provided with the most effective protection and assistance to ensure that his/her rights are protected. The study utilised a qualitative approach to examine the personal experiences of UMC and their perceptions towards the services that are rendered at Tongogara Refugee Camp. The ecological systems theory was used to holistically explore the micro, exo, meso and macro systems that impinge upon the quality and range of service provision. Findings revealed shortcomings in the social work response to the rights and welfare needs of UMC at Tongogara. Discrepancies were noted in the range and quality of counselling and psychosocial services, inadequate supply of core relief items, critical human resource shortages, challenges in the foster parenting setup, and delays in refugee determination status, among others. These challenges were assessed to seriously infringe on the capacity of UMC to resettle and reintegrate in host communities. The study recommended, among others, legislative and policy reviews to improve the rights of refugees in general, the need for improvement of interagency coordination and programmes to assist UMC with livelihood skills to enable them to become productive citizens of host countries.
Additional Citation InformationSoko, S. (2018). An evaluation of the adequacy of child protection services for unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking children in Zimbabwe: A case study of Tongogara Refugee Camp. [Unpublished masters thesis].University of Zimbabwe.
SubjectTongogara Refugee Camp
critical human resource shortages
counselling and psychosocial services,