Children, Youth and Environments
Vol. 16 No. 2 ( 2006)
Participation for All?
Searching for Marginalized Voices:
The Case for Including Refugee Young People
Australian Catholic University
Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues
Citation: Couch, Jen and Steve Francis (2006). "Participation for All? Searching for Marginalized Voices: The Case for Including Refugee Young People
." Children, Youth and Environments 16 (2): 277-295. Retrieved [date] from http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/
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The concept of youth participation has become a familiar and increasingly accepted component of youth work practice, programming and funding in Australia. As governments have become more eager to “take young people seriously” and to “hear” the voices of young people, attempts have been made to reinvigorate the role of young people in the public sphere. Activities often focus on reaching mainstream young people, which exclude marginalized populations, such as refugee young people. This paper discusses the need to create opportunities for young refugees to participate, and argues that the participation of young people requires more than “having a voice.” It is about the right and the ability to advocate on one’s own behalf, to be in control and involved in decision-making processes and interventions. We contend that the needs of marginalized groups of young people are not currently addressed effectively in youth participation strategies.
Keywords: youth participation, refugees, marginalized populations, Australia