Children behind bars: The harmful impact of arrest, detention and deportation on undocumented children's mental health

Yael Mayer, Ido Lurie, Essam Daod, Rotem Zamir, Yuval Bloch, Shmuel Kron, Daniel Hamiel, Noam Sarna, Noa Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Political conflicts, civil unrest, and poverty are some of the reasons that force families to flee their home countries and seek refuge elsewhere. In 2019, 70.8 million people worldwide were forced to migrate; over half were minors. This heterogeneous group of migrants included work migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and survivors of human trafficking, among others. Many of them, including minors, became undocumented and thus have no access to health or welfare services. The global phenomenon of migration will putatively increase with growing social and economic disparities between countries and the globalization, climate change and desertification. Undocumented migrants or asylum-seekers in host countries throughout the world often face arrest, detention, and deportation. In some countries, children, even those born in host countries, are separated from their parents during these processes. Children born in host countries often face the same deleterious treatment. In this chapter, we review the current research literature about the harmful implications of arrest, detention, and deportation on undocumented children’s mental health and discuss the underlying factors of the harmful consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImmigrant and Migrant Children
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Issues and Challenges
EditorsMatthieu Demers
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781536182880
ISBN (Print)978-1-53618-141-8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Deportation
  • Detention
  • International migration
  • Mental-health
  • Undocumented children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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