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Table 1 Categories, Definitions and Impact relating to the Category of Refugee Assigned

From: Access to mental health for asylum seekers in the European Union. An analysis of disparities between legal rights and reality

Category Definition Impact
Refugee Persons who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion are outside the country of their nationality and are unable to or, owing to such fear are unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country" ([18] p241) The reliability of the claim needs to be established by the host country, before this status can be granted. Much of this procedure proves to be highly stressful for applicants, over and above the effects and consequences of persecution endured
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Those forced to flee home and community owing to civil war or persecution, but displaced within their country of origin rather than a different country [19] There are currently nearly 25 million IDPs worldwide, roughly twice the total number of refugees [20]. While IDPs may face the same hazardous circumstances other refugees face, they do not have the same protection offered to them. Often inaccessible to foreign aid agencies they are often more exposed to upheaval and violence
Asylum seekers Asylum seekers are those awaiting a decision on a refugee status The asylum procedure can vary between a matter of weeks to several years. Moreover, asylum seekers do not enjoy the same rights as refugees [21]
Unaccompanied refugee minors (URM) or "mineur étranger non-accompagné" (MENA) Children with no adults accompanying them into exile URMs are subject to the same asylum procedure as adults and no special facilities are provided. In addition to surviving a foreign environment without parents, if their claim is rejected, they are left without any documentation or residence permits. Fewer than half have legal representation, and even those having legitimate asylum claims, may not apply for asylum, as they are unaware of their legal rights [70]
Recent immigrants or "Primo-arrivants" Children and adolescent refugees (or children of refugees) who are stateless or who are from developing countries and have been in the country less than one year [72] Adjustment to school - language, peers, subjects, academic requirements - are considerable stressors for children and adolescents. New belief systems, values, present serious challenges to their adjustment. Families may be disrupted once again by new family roles and patterns [70]. Because of their educational experiences and more rapid attainment language acquisition than parents, they may act as cultural liaisons for other generations [71]
ERLs (Exceptional leave to remain) and 'B' status (temporary protected status) They are granted permission to remain in the host country only for a specific period of time Usually they are ascribed fewer rights than refugee status, for example, their access to health care is limited
Economic migrants They leave the country of origin because of economic hardship The legality of residence for economic migrants differs from country to country, and if sanctioned, often only temporary residence is granted.
Undocumented aliens or "sans papiers" They enter the country undeclared They possess only minimum rights and standards, and a fear of exposure will often compromise access to medical and/or educational facilities, creating a very vulnerable population.
Failed asylum seekers They have had their application rejected and do not leave the territory as required Failed asylum seekers remaining illegally in the country will face the same conditions as sans papiers (see above).
Forced migrants or victims of forced displacements They are those who move as a consequence of natural disasters (drought, floods, earthquakes) or famine, and whose home country cannot or will not provide protection and assistance Conditions will depend on whether or not they may make a formal asylum application (see asylum seekers) or reside undeclared (see above)