Being voiced: a blessing or a curse? Young people’s experiences of procedural (in)justice in asylum procedures.

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


This presentation delves into how young people who are subjected to asylum procedures experience those procedures by looking at these experiences from a procedural justice perspective. Not only is being granted a “voice” in judicial systems a prerequisite for fairness from a procedural justice perspective, “voice” equally forms the cornerstone of children’s rights. In this presentation, we derive from the results of a visual ethnography with young newcomers in Brussels to illustrate that the procedural justice element of voice changes significantly in light of status adjudication procedures. In those procedures, precisely this voice guides, due to the lack of other persuasive evidence, the high-stakes decision-making process. As such, this presentation will conclude that voice and participation by extension, are not implemented in the hearing room to augment empowerment, agency, and active children’s citizenship. On the contrary, the voice becomes a rather hostile requirement, responsibility, and duty even for a young refugee to secure a future out of harm’s way. Contrary to the theoretical expectations surrounding procedural justice and legitimacy, we conclude that the experiences of young newcomers in Belgium point out the need to critically assess this framework in light of high-stakes decision-making practices in which procedural outcomes decide the next turn in people’s lives.
Original languageDutch
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology: 23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology - Universita degli studi Firenze, Florence, Italy
Duration: 6 Sep 20239 Sep 2023


Conference23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology
Internet address

Cite this