Globe, Human Rights, Politiks, United Kingdom

Refugee children’s rights

A London-based charity is running courses for people working with minors seeking asylum in the UK.  Migrant minors are a particularly vulnerable group who do not currently receive adequate levels of support and protection.


niños inmigrantes 9“Rude and suspicious” was the description used by migrant when asked to describe the treatment they received from border agents when they arrived in the UK seeking asylum.

A study carried out by the NGO Children’s Society has set out to expose the stress suffered by children upon their arrival to the UK and emphasises the “stressful, confusing and traumatic” nature of the experience.

Many of the interviewees reached the UK after long and dangerous journeys, hoping to receive better treatment and attention in their new destination than in their countries of origin.  The UK Border Agency faces criticism from the charity, who point out that they regularly lose “records and identity documents of those seeking asylum”, a situation they deem unacceptable.  The charity has therefore put forward changes to ensure that asylum seekers receive a better deal and the authorities speed up processing times for applicants.

niños inmigrantes 7The proposals being put forward by the Children’s Society include each minor being provided with a legal representative, whose role is to provide them with necessary information along with adequate psychological support.  In the year 2011 alone, a total of 1277 minors gained access to the UK with refugee status.  Due to the high number of applicants, urgent change is needed.

Once their application to enter the UK is accepted, minors have the right to receive education, and, owing to their vulnerable situation, the support of social services.  But for many organisations, the protection and support individuals receive is still not enough.

niños inmigrantes 5Coram Children’s Legal Centre is running courses for those working alongside minors, families and young people facing this harsh reality.

The training course, entitled The rights and entitlements of young refugees and migrants, aims to offer an overview of the law and policy affecting young migrants, as well as an examination of themes including the role of legal representatives, access to education, the legal framework and the support currently available, and how to identify and support victims of trafficking.

niños inmigrantes 3The workshop is one of many training courses offered periodically by the NGO.
The next session will take place on 29th May at 48 de Mecklenburgh Square, London (WC1N 2QA).

For more information visit the organiser’s website:


(Translated by Claudia Rennie – Email:


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