Refugee Youth Who Arrived in Sweden as Unaccompanied Minors and Separated Children:

Education and Labour Market Well-being

Aycan Çelikaksoy 1  and Eskil Wadensjö 1
  • 1 Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden


In recent years, Sweden has been one of the largest receiving countries of unaccompanied minors, compared to other EU member states. Recent studies have increasingly stressed the strength, resilience and agency of unaccompanied minors, despite the traumatic experiences and challenges they face. In this article, we study unaccompanied minors in the Swedish education system and the labour market using register-based data covering the period 2003–2014. We compare this group with accompanied minors and persons of the same age born in Sweden to investigate the mechanisms that facilitate and/or hinder their labour market well-being. We find that unaccompanied minors have problems in completing secondary school but do well in the labour market with regard to finding employment. Our results draw attention to the multifaceted processes that facilitate and/or hinder their labour market well-being.

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