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Young Syrian refugees in the UK: a two-tier system of international protection?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dimitris SkleparisORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor & Francis, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article explores the experiences of young Syrian refugees in the UK. It looks at how settlement plays out for two ‘types’ of Syrian refugees, those resettled by the UK Government and those who claim asylum in the UK. Drawing on new empirical data from 484 Syrian refugees in the UK, the article compares and contrasts the two groups’ access to educational provisions, the labour market and general support mechanisms that should, in principle, be equally available to all refugees. This reveals the scale and consequences of the existing two-tier system of international protection based entirely on how refugees come to be in the UK, rather than any objective analysis of their reason for flight. In doing so, the article seeks to contribute to debates about the process and implications of how host states label people, in this case by de facto treating resettled Syrians as the ‘good’ refugees, while those who arrive of their own volition, regardless of their needs, are viewed as more problematic.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Karyotis G, Mulvey G, Skleparis D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Year: 2021

Volume: 47

Issue: 3

Pages: 481-500

Online publication date: 19/02/2020

Acceptance date: 04/02/2020

Date deposited: 10/02/2020

ISSN (print): 1369-183X

ISSN (electronic): 1469-9451

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1727317


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