Take action to protect young asylum seekers in the UK.
Ask your MP to sign the Early Day Motion calling on the Home Office to introduce Youth Welfare Officers in all asylum accommodation!
Young adult asylum seekers in the UK often face unique and complex challenges to their mental health and wellbeing, with many having survived unimaginable experiences within their countries of origin, and/or during their long and treacherous journeys to reach this country.
But once here, their journey is far from over.
Young adult asylum seekers are often left isolated and alone without adequate guidance and support in asylum accommodation. Many suffer from severe mental health issues.
Moreover, children who the Home Office believe to be adults, ‘age-disputed children’, are sometimes wrongfully placed in adult asylum accommodation – putting them at increased risk of exploitation and abuse.
We are calling for the Home Office to urgently introduce Youth Welfare Officers in all asylum accommodation to support this vulnerable group.
Here’s what to include:
- As a member of their constituency, you’re writing to ask that they sign Early Day Motion #2421 on Youth Welfare Officers for Young Asylum Seekers in asylum accommodation in Britain.
- This is important to you because you’re aware that there is a striking lack of support available for young asylum seekers whilst in asylum accommodation, and a worrying prevalence of severe mental health issues.
- Several young asylum seekers have tragically taken their lives in the last year – there is urgent need for increased support to protect those seeking sanctuary here.
- Vulnerability does not end immediately upon turning 18. Young adult asylum seekers are often not given access to the same guidance, care and support as under 18’s, despite also being extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
- Children are being wrongly assessed as adults. In some instances, children are wrongly assessed as adults by the Home Office and end up being wrongfully placed outside of local authority care, in adult accommodation.
- The Refugee Council’s Age Dispute Project has reported that 89% of the age-disputed young people they worked with in 2017 – all of whom had had an initial decision on age made by Immigration Officers based solely on appearance rather than having an adequate age assessment – were eventually accepted as children.
- Youth Welfare Officers would be able to provide essential care and support, monitor asylum accommodation standards, as well as help to identify those age disputed children who are wrongly sent to adult accommodation.
“These children, who have to leave home through no fault of their own, are traumatized on their journey through the desert and the sea. It is the job of the authorities to look after and guide these children, who come to the UK alone. They shouldn’t come to die.”
TECLE SIUM TESFAMICHEL, WHOSE SON, ALEXANDER TEKLE, TOOK HIS OWN LIFE AFTER BEING WRONGLY PLACED IN ADULT ASYLUM ACCOMMODATION