Legal Aid campaign a success after being reinstated by the Government 

Two smiling young people

In 2013 the Government stopped separated and unaccompanied young people from being able to access legal aid to support with immigration issues. They estimated around 2,500 vulnerable migrant children, alone in the UK, would be prevented from accessing aid every year. 

Our report, written in partnership with Dr Helen Connolly, University of Bedfordshire, highlighted the needs of unaccompanied and separated children in a system that often renders them invisible, harming both their childhood and their future.

Through our Legal Aid campaign, we called on the Government to bring back crucial help with legal costs for all migrant children who are on their own.  

Our legal challenge took five years, but in July 2018 the Government agreed to reinstate legal aid for separated and unaccompanied children in their non-asylum immigration cases. Our campaigning achieved the changes we needed to see.  

What does Legal Aid support mean for young people? 

Without support to secure their immigration status, young people face destitution, social exclusion and exploitation. Often young people only realise their status as they approach adulthood and find they can’t access services such as healthcare or education. 

Now, with support to navigate the complex immigration system, their chances of fairly resolving their immigration status will improve. Young people will finally have the security and hope for the future that they deserve. 

The power of campaigning

Our Legal Aid campaign shows that change can take time, but it’s a perfect example of why it’s important to keep going. Every action you take – whether it’s a petition signature, or meeting your MP – brings us one step closer to achieving the change we’re calling for.  

Become a campaigner today and be part of the fight to improve the lives of the vulnerable young people we support.