Ensamkommande barn på flykt – berättelser om flyktingskap, interaktioner och resiliens
Unaccompanied refugee minors. Life histories about being a refugee, interactions and resilience
Based on interviews with fifteen unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, the article explores how these children understand their interactions with two government agencies during the asylum process, namely, social services and legal guardians. These agencies are among the most important caring for children’s reception, welfare, and everyday life. The conceptual framework of the study includes interactions occurring in the context of asymmetric power relations between children and institutional actors, resilience, and vulnerability. In the study, the tremendous hardships experienced throughout their childhood as well as during flight are reported. Upon arrival in Sweden, the asylum process becomes a part of the psychological and social challenges for the children. Experiences of interactions with formally protecting contexts are mixed. However, in situations where interactions seem to undermine their interests, the children appear to function as strong actors with an ability to negotiate spaces of influence and bring about changes.