Communication from the child’s perspective - Improving the experience for the children in the asylum process
When arriving to Norway, the children applying for asylum go through a series of events with the aim to communicate the need for protection. This is an intimidating process, and the meetings with the immigration administration are central for the outcome. The focus of the thesis was to investigate the challenges connected to the meetings between the administration and the children in the asylum process, more specifically the registration when arriving, the asylum interview and the board hearing at an appeal. The following research question was formulated: Children in the asylum process – How to improve the experience of meeting the immigration administration? Through qualitative research such as interviews, observations and workshops with asylum seekers and employees at the different actors, the findings show that the children do not feel safe during these meetings. Various factors cause this distress, such as a fear of not being able to communicate their reasons for being granted an asylum. This causes anxiety before and during the meetings, and frustration afterwards. Through a co-creative and iterative process, the thesis has explored different ways of creating a better experience of the meetings. The result suggests a concept based on the needs of the child, and includes an interview tool that can facilitate the different situations. The tool consists of various sets of visual elements that can help the child to narrate his or her story. The tool is flexible and can be adapted both to the respective actors, but most importantly to the different needs the children might have in order to tell their stories. With the tool comes a suggestion to a new routine of interviewing the children, to improve the whole situation. Using this tool and new routine, the confusion and lack of confidence during the meeting can be decreased, and thus creating value for the children, as the feeling of confidence and safety can be increased. The tool facilitates the interviewers, which can secure the quality of the situation and documentation. Further, the tool will be tested in real interview situations and the possibility for implementation will be investigated. The report contains documentation of the research and design process of a master´s thesis, conducted at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University during the spring 2018. The thesis was a part of the larger project Barn i asylkjeden, A-Å, executed at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) together with the National Police Immigration Service (PU), the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) and the design agency Comte bureau.