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Into the unknown Children’s journeys through the asylum process

Each year around 3,000 unaccompanied children claim asylum in the UK. Most come fromcountries which are in a state of chaos, endemic violence or with well-documented humanrights abuses, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, SriLanka and Eritrea. These young people survive mass killings, escape from being recruited aschild soldiers and experience the death of loved ones. For some, their journey to safety isextremely dangerous and they experience exploitation, violence and abuse along the way

The process of claiming asylum is very complicated and confusing for children who seekprotection in the UK on their own. Although we have seen improvements in recent years, formany of the young people The Children’s Society works with, the process remains frighteningand bewildering. The trauma they have suffered prior to arriving in the UK and the difficultiesthey experience in seeking protection as well as acclimatising to a new culture, language andway of life, all have a significant impact on their well-being.