Special Issue "Children on the Move: The Health of Refugee, Immigrant and Displaced Children"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Global and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Charles N. Oberg

Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S. 2nd Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: global pediatrics; childhood poverty; health disparities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Children will focus on the health impact on children experiencing migration as refugees, immigrants, and those internally displaced within their own country due to war and conflict. Topics to be explored will include, but will not be limited to, the epidemiology of displacement, adverse health conditions, trauma and mental health, best practices and care corrdination. We will also explore specific populations such as children with disabilites, unaccompanied minors and child separation at international borders. The Special Issue will conclude with a examination of new clinical guidelines, the development of new care systems and the advocacy for new policies addressing these children in need.

Prof. Charles N. Oberg
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • refugee
  • immigrant
  • internally displaced
  • trauma-informed care
  • care coordination
  • mental health

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Special Aspects in Pediatric Surgical Inpatient Care of Refugee Children: A Comparative Cohort Study
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Recently, the number of refugees in Germany has skyrocketed, leading to a marked increase in refugee children admitted to hospitals. This study describes the special characteristics encountered in pediatric surgical inpatient refugees compared to locally residing patients. Methods: Hospital records of minor [...] Read more.
Background: Recently, the number of refugees in Germany has skyrocketed, leading to a marked increase in refugee children admitted to hospitals. This study describes the special characteristics encountered in pediatric surgical inpatient refugees compared to locally residing patients. Methods: Hospital records of minor refugees admitted to our department from 2005 up to and including 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic data, diagnoses, comorbidities, body mass indexes, hemoglobin values, and lengths of stay were extracted and statistically compared to local patients. Results: A total of 63 refugee children were analyzed and compared to 24,983 locally residing children. There was no difference in median body mass index (16.2 vs. 16.3, respectively, p = 0.26). However, refugee children had significantly lower hemoglobin values (11.95 vs. 12.79 g/dL, p < 0.0001) and were more likely to be colonized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus. aureus (8% vs. 0.04%, p < 0.01). Refugees were much more likely to present with burn injuries (16% versus 3% of admissions, p < 0.001), esophageal foreign bodies (4% vs. 0.5%, p < 0.001), as well as trauma, except for closed head injury. Conclusion: The cohort of refugee children in this study was found to be at a particular risk for suffering from burn injuries, trauma, foreign body aspirations, and anemia. Appropriate preventive measures and screening programs should be implemented accordingly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trends in Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation among Immigrant Families of U.S.-Born Young Children
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 30 March 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
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Abstract
Immigrant families are known to be at higher risk of food insecurity compared to non-immigrant families. Documented immigrants in the U.S. <5 years are ineligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Immigration enforcement, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and policies negatively targeting immigrants have increased [...] Read more.
Immigrant families are known to be at higher risk of food insecurity compared to non-immigrant families. Documented immigrants in the U.S. <5 years are ineligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Immigration enforcement, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and policies negatively targeting immigrants have increased in recent years. Anecdotal reports suggest immigrant families forgo assistance, even if eligible, related to fear of deportation or future ineligibility for citizenship. In the period of January 2007–June 2018, 37,570 caregivers of young children (ages 0–4) were interviewed in emergency rooms and primary care clinics in Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Little Rock. Food insecurity was measured using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Security Survey Module. Overall, 21.4% of mothers were immigrants, including 3.8% in the U.S. <5 years (“<5 years”) and 17.64% ≥ 5 years (“5+ years”). SNAP participation among <5 years families increased in the period of 2007–2017 to 43% and declined in the first half of 2018 to 34.8%. For 5+ years families, SNAP participation increased to 44.7% in 2017 and decreased to 42.7% in 2018. SNAP decreases occurred concurrently with rising child food insecurity. Employment increased 2016–2018 among U.S.-born families and was stable among immigrant families. After steady increases in the prior 10 years, SNAP participation decreased in all immigrant families in 2018, but most markedly in more recent immigrants, while employment rates were unchanged. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Child Morbidity and Disease Burden in Refugee Camps in Mainland Greece
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 17 March 2019
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Abstract
The crisis conflicts in Syria have forced a lot of people to relocate and live in mainland Greece, where they are hosted in refugee camps. In the present study, our aim was to assess child morbidity and overall disease burden in two camps [...] Read more.
The crisis conflicts in Syria have forced a lot of people to relocate and live in mainland Greece, where they are hosted in refugee camps. In the present study, our aim was to assess child morbidity and overall disease burden in two camps in northern Greece during a six-month winter period. A primary health care office was founded in each camp. Refugees of all ages with health problems were examined daily by specialty doctors. Cases were classified into two categories: Infectious or non-infectious. In total, 2631 patients were examined during this period (out of the 3760 refugees hosted). Of these patients, 9.8% were infants, 12.7% were toddlers, and 13.4% were children. Most of the visits for children aged less than 12 years old were due to infectious diseases (80.8%). The most common sites of communicable diseases among children were the respiratory tract (66.8%), the skin (23.2%), and the urinary (3.2%) and gastrointestinal tracts (6.2%). Non-communicable diseases were mostly due to gastrointestinal (20.2%), respiratory (18.2%), surgical (13.1%), and allergic (10.3%) disorders. Infants, toddlers, and children suffered more frequently from respiratory infections, while in adolescents and adults, non-infectious diseases were more common. Toddlers and children were more likely to fall ill in comparison to infants. Conclusions: During the winter period, infectious diseases, especially of the respiratory tract, are the main reason for care seeking among refugees in Greek camps, with toddlers suffering more than other age groups. The overall mortality and referral percentage were low, indicating that adequate primary care is provided in this newly established refugee hosting model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Addressing Marginality and Exclusion: The Resettlement Experiences of War-Affected Young People in Quebec, Canada
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 27 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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Abstract
Accessing meaningful forms of support can be an onerous experience for young people resettling from war-affected contexts. In addition to facing linguistic and financial barriers in this process, these young people negotiate care systems that are often structurally and culturally insensitive to their [...] Read more.
Accessing meaningful forms of support can be an onerous experience for young people resettling from war-affected contexts. In addition to facing linguistic and financial barriers in this process, these young people negotiate care systems that are often structurally and culturally insensitive to their unique needs, values, beliefs, and intersectional experiences of oppression. Drawing on interviews with 22 young people from war-affected areas living in Quebec, Canada, this paper critically examines how dominant cultural norms and social relations in Quebec’s health, social and educational services network shape their experiences in seeking care, healing and belonging. Alternative care systems and approaches, as proposed by the participants, are then explored. The findings emphasize the need for spaces and care services where war-affected young people’s identities and lived realities are validated and represented. Full article

Other

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Open AccessOpinion
The Rights of Children on the Move and the Budapest Declaration
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
It has been estimated that more than 50,000,000 children and youth have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced within their own country. They consist of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDP), economic migrants, and exploited trafficked children. They are virtually “stateless”, [...] Read more.
It has been estimated that more than 50,000,000 children and youth have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced within their own country. They consist of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDP), economic migrants, and exploited trafficked children. They are virtually “stateless”, children deprived of the protective structures of state and family that they need and deserve and unrecognized by either their country of origin or the international community. This opinion piece starts with the personal reflections of its author on his recent work in Middle East refugee camps. It then explores the prevalence and demographics of these children and their plight. It examines the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and other international conventions designed to protect them. It also summarizes the International Society of Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP) Budapest Declaration on the Rights, Health andWell-Being of Children and Youth on the Move as a framework for improved care and vehicle for change. Full article
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