Ilse Derluyn - CHILDMOVE

Onderstaande beschrijving is in het Engels:

Ilse DerluynProf. Dr. Ilse Derluyn is professor at the Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy of Ghent University. Ilse Derluyn obtained her PhD in Pedagogical Sciences at Ghent University with a dissertation on the emotional well-being of unaccompanied refugee minors. Ilse has been involved in several research projects in the fields of (forced) migration, refugees and war-affected children and adolescents, such as studies on psychosocial well-being of unaccompanied refugee minors, trafficking of minors, drug use in migrant populations, child soldiers, emotional well-being of war-affected adolescents in Eastern Congo, therapeutic care for unaccompanied refugee minors,…

Ilse also teaches different courses on migration, refugee health and diversity at Ghent University, and has a large experience in supporting migrant, refugee and war-affected populations and in training of the people supporting them.

She heads the interfaculty research Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) at Ghent University, and is co-director of the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS). Over the past years, Ilse Derluyn, has built up a large network of researchers and practitioners, in Belgium, Europe and worldwide.



Project website:

The impact of flight experiences on the psychological wellbeing of unaccompanied refugee minors (CHILDMOVE)


Since early 2015, the media continuously confront us with images of refugee children drowning in the Mediterranean, surviving in appalling conditions in camps or walking across Europe. Within this group of fleeing children, a considerable number is travelling without parents, unaccompanied refugee minors.

While the media images testify to these flight experiences and their possible huge impact on minors’ wellbeing, there has been no systematic research to fully capture these experiences, nor their mental health impact. This project therefore aims to fundamentally increase our knowledge of the impact of experiences during the flight, in relation to past trauma and current stressors, findings which will also be highly informative for policy makers and practitioners. We will conduct a longitudinal follow-up study of a large group of unaccompanied refugee minors, whereby our study starts from different transit countries, crosses several European countries, and uses innovative methodological and mixed-methods approaches. We will hereby not only document the psychological impact of these flight experiences, but also the way in which care and reception structures for unaccompanied minors in transit and settlement countries can reduce this impact.