I don’t feel human

Date: 28th February 2012
Category: Refugee and asylum seeking children
Author: The Children’s Society

A new report by The Children's Society reveals alarming levels of destitution among refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant children and young people.

Incredibly vulnerable young people are being left homeless, hungry and forced to resort to increasingly desperate means in order to survive, reveals the report. This can result in exploitation and abuse of many forms.

The report is based on a consultation with practitioners from the Children's Society's refugee and migrant projects, and includes case studies young people and families they have supported.

The result, according to the report, is that increasing numbers of children whose asylum claims have been refused, and who have not been removed from the UK, are now sleeping rough and are vulnerable to violence and sexual exploitation.

The report states that some of the young people it had seen had serious illnesses and mental health problems. Some self-harmed and tried to kill themselves, while others felt they had no option but to have sex in exchange for food or shelter.

The Children's Society is calling for immediate action to make sure that children and young people in the immigration system are not forced to live in destitution.