Contemporary border exclusion policies have had a devastating impact on migrant children worldwide, eliciting vigorous expressions of public outrage around the world. Yet, despite a growing evidence base of their ensuing human rights violations, Europe continues to promote and fund these types of migration policies, doubling down on exclusion and turning children into easier targets for exploitation and abuse. This presentation will discuss the consequences and implications of these policies for children, using the case study of Greece and Libya as major buffer zones for current migration flows towards Europe. Special focus will be given to the increased risk of sexual exploitation of children in Greece, and the voluntary return of children from Libya as a durable migration solution.
Dr. Digidiki is an Instructor at Harvard University and a Forensic and Social Psychologist. She completed her post-doctoral studies on Child Protection in Humanitarian Crises at the Harvard FXB Center, and now leads the Center’s research agenda on Migrant Child Protection. Since 2016, Dr. Digidiki has studied the sexual exploitation of migrant children, the impact of repatriation on children, access to education of Rohingya children and strategies for increasing resilience and agency among stranded migrant children. She has active collaborations with leading organizations in the field including UNICEF, IOM, BRAC, and Doctors of the World. Dr. Digidiki also works closely with the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on issues of forced migration and religion. Prior to joining the Harvard FXB Center in 2014, Dr. Digidiki worked extensively on human trafficking, prostitution, and victim blaming. Along with her teaching activities at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, she has guest lectured at different universities including Boston College, Brandeis University, and Northeastern University. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical and Social Psychology from the Aristotle University, Greece and two Master Degrees on Forensic and Social Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire, UK.