How Can You Help? Unaccompanied Minors

Amongst the hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing North through Europe from Asia and Africa, there are a large number under the age of eighteen. Many of these are unaccompanied minors. Some have lost all their family, perhaps in the chaos of Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan: others feel they have no hope of a future, have left family behind and are trying to reach relatives in Europe. Most have walked thousands of miles to reach their destination in Northern Europe, which they believe offers the best chance of safety and prospects for a future, rather than the overcrowded camps in Southern European countries like Italy and Greece.

Some try to reach the UK, risking life and limb to cross the Channel in the back of a sealed lorry or an overcrowded rubber dinghy. Most never get beyond the barbed wire at Calais and Dunkirk, and some have died in the attempt. Many of these vulnerable young people go missing in Europe, probably in the hands of unscrupulous trafficking gangs.

What awaits them if they do reach the UK? How are they treated? Find out more in the Quick Guide to Unaccompanied Minors.