Refugees in Europe: national overviews from key countries with a special focus on child and adolescent mental health

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Many European countries are becoming multicultural at a previously unseen rate. The number of immigrants including refugees has considerably increased since 2008, and especially after the beginning of the war in Syria. In 2015, 88,300 unaccompanied minors sought asylum in the Member States of the European Union (EU) and most came from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Eritrea. As a reaction to increased immigration, governments in many countries including Germany, Sweden and Norway implemented more restrictive immigration policy. A requirement for all countries, however, is the protection and welfare provision for all arriving children, regardless of their nationality, ensured by international and national legal frameworks. This paper provides an overview of the post 2015 immigration crisis in key European countries with a special focus on current demographics, refugee children, mental health studies, policies and practical support available for refugees.


  • Matthew Hodes
  • Melisa Mendoza Vasquez
  • Dimitris Anagnostopoulos
  • Kalliopi Triantafyllou
  • Dalia Abdelhady
  • Karin Weiss
  • Roman Koposov
  • Fusun Cuhadaroglu
  • Johannes Hebebrand
  • Norbert Skokauskas
External organisations
  • Imperial College London
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Ankara University
  • University Hospital Essen
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • International Organization for Migration, Turkey
  • University Of Applied Sciences Potsdam
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
  • Psychiatry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date2017 Dec 21
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch