Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The length of time people are living as refugees is now longer than ever. Day-to-day life for families in displacement — poverty, fear, insecurity and discrimination — can put the psychological and emotional development of the youngest refugees at risk.

The big picture: "There are structural problems in the system — policies around refugee residency, resettlement and employment — that directly affect the way parents can care for children and in turn their mental health," Amanda Sim of the Center for Evidence Based Interventions at the University of Oxford tells Axios.

  • Millions of refugees have been displaced for more than a decade, according to UNHCR data.
  • As of 2017 half the world’s refugee population was under the age of 18.
  • There are now second and third generations of refugees; children who have never known life outside of a camp or in their home nation.
"When you go to East Sudan you have refugees since 1968 in the refugee camp. When you go to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, there've been refugees there since 1991. When you go to Morocco, you have the Sahrawi people that have been there since 1975."
— Eskinder Negash, President and CEO of USCRI and former Director of the HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement

Help for the kids: UNICEF, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies and other NGOs offer child services and art- or play-based activities in refugee camps to give kids coping skills to manage stress and to try to prevent mental health problems from arising.

  • In Bangladesh, the NGO BRAC runs “play labs” where Rohingya refugee children from Myanmar play for a few hours each day,
  • The programs — which last week received added support from the Lego Foundation to partner with Sesame Workshop — focus on learning and emotional development as well as building community for children in their host societies where they can face discrimination.

Help for the parents: Parents too are chronically stressed by the struggle of trying to provide the most basic of parenting responsibilities — safety, shelter and food. That can have a negative impact on how they interact with their children and, in turn, their emotional well-being.

  • “Investing in parents' mental health is key to supporting these children long-term,” says Alexandra Chen, a graduate student at Harvard who studies the impact of trauma and stress on refugees in Lebanon.
  • Psychologist Kenneth Miller of War Child Holland and his colleagues have run small caregiver support programs in Gaza and Lebanon that focus first on parents' well-being, then on skills for parenting.
  • The research is in the early phases of testing but Miller says data from Syria suggests the program helped some parents "find greater calm and managing their stress freed them up to parent in ways they wanted to parent."

"The problem is if you treat kids and send them back to the highly stressed families they are living in, you are undermining your own efforts," Miller tells Axios.

The bottom line: "[The family] is the social unit that matters for people, for better or worse," says Yale anthropologist Catherine Panter-Brick who works with refugee youth in Afghanistan and Syria. "That is our building block to make things better."

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.