The Health and Wellbeing of Asylum Seeking Children & Adolescents

08 April 2020
Population health

The amount of people forcibly displaced globally is at its highest record - with an estimated of 70.9 million people, over half of whom are children and adolescents. The health and wellbeing of asylum seeking children and adolescents is a major public health concern worldwide, especially given increasing numbers.

A recently published national, multicentre study protocol will document the health and wellbeing outcomes of the children and adolescents who were detained on the remote island of Nauru as part of Australia’s offshore processing policy. This study was designed before the COVID-19 pandemic, which will compound the challenges faced by this group of children and adolescents.

The study, led by the Community Child Health team at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and the School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, will measure and capture outcomes of the children and adolescents over the next 5-years and since arrival in Australia.

The following are key measurements that will be taken:

  • Demographics, Residency History & Refugee Status

  • Physical Health

  • Mental health & Social-emotional wellbeing

  • Child Development

  • Clinical service utilization

  • Psychosocial risk & protective factors for health and well-being

"We hope by documenting these outcomes, we can further understand the term impact of prolonged detention and mitigate this serious harm by informing policy in Australia and internationally" - Professor Karen Ziwi, Clinical Director, Priority Populations & Clinical Lead for SCHN Refugee Health Service

Read the full study published in BMJ Paediatrics here.

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