A life of waiting - agency and social empowerment of asylum seekers arriving as minors in Finland in the 2010s (2018-)

The aim of the research project is to investigate, using a qualitative longitudinal study, the way in which children and young people arriving in Finland unaccompanied by a guardian construct a normal life and the implementation of their rights during the periods spent at a reception unit and undergoing asylum processes and afterwards. Key transitions are also focused on by following the growth of the children and young people into adults in different life stages and contexts. The following question is used to weave the research project together: How is the agency of unaccompanied children and young people constructed and how do they learn to live with various uncertainties and a long period of waiting? Due to the sensitive nature of the research project the subject is approached in a multi-method way. Data is collected ethnographically from the young unaccompanied asylum seekers and the professionals working with them. The unique nature of the project is emphasised by the use of ethnographic material and the fact that collection of this from the young people was started back in 2016 in cooperation with the Save the Children organisation and the Finnish Youth Research Society.