This introductory chapter provides an overview of youth migration. Youth migration needs to be understood in relation to its negative drivers of persecution, violence, and unsustainable lives in countries of origin, factors that motivated the flights of many young people. But at the same time, there is a need to recognize that such adversity also fuels individual and collective dreams and aspirations for better lives. Without acknowledging this, politicians will struggle to formulate meaningful and workable asylum and immigration policies. The chapter then briefly outlines the differing journeys that young people took in order to arrive in Europe. The chapter explains that the book focuses on how asylum, immigration, and social care procedures are operationalized once unaccompanied children and young people arrive in the UK and Italy, and the impact that these bureaucratic processes have on them over time.
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