Forced migration and refugee health

NKVTS studies refugees' mental health through surveys, studies on prevention, intervention and treatment, as well as through qualitative studies on their adaptation to and inclusion in Norwegian society.

We collaborate with national and international researchers and research groups in developing and conducting research on refugees. We have also co-established the Nordic research network NordURM (Nordic Network for Research Cooperation on Unaccompanied Refugee Minors). The Nordic research project CAGE (Coming of Age in Exile) has developed through this network collaboration, which examines the living conditions and well-being of young refugees growing up in the Nordic countries.

Refugees’ challenges

Refugees are people who have left their countries of origin fleeing war, human rights violations or persecution. They may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder from previous traumatic events. Refugees may have been subjected to torture and violence in addition to traumatic events, which may debilitate their daily functioning in various ways.

People seeking asylum in Norway also face a number of challenges related to separation, loss and exile-related stress. The asylum-seeking process entails uncertainty, and starting a new life in an unfamiliar society is demanding.

Unaccompanied minors

Several of our studies focus particularly on unaccompanied minors. Unaccompanied minors are children and young people under 18 seeking asylum without parents or other persons with parental responsibility. The loss of caregivers is often an additional reason as to why unaccompanied minors flee. Our research focuses on the reception of unaccompanied minors, and on resettlement in a municipality for those whose asylum application is approved and are granted residence in Norway.

Other studies involve young refugees in general, whether they come alone or with their family, and are concerned with their views and experiences of growing up in exile, particularly in relation to school. This research also addresses the views of significant adults (e.g. teachers and caregivers) on how best to provide for the needs of young refugees.

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