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Help us get guardians for unaccompanied children

After long harrowing journeys to the UK, many children seeking safety arrive here alone. The only thing waiting for them is a difficult and draining immigration process. With nobody looking out for them, it's tough.

A group of young people known as the YLCSC are fighting to change this. So that all children who arrive in the UK alone get a legal guardian - someone to take them to immigration interviews, make sure they're heard, help them adapt to life in a new country. Guardians give children seeking asylum hope for a brighter future.

Here is their campaign, told in their words.

Guardians video and quote

young man listening to headphones looking out of a window

I want to be part of this to help other people I want to be part of this to help other people

– member of the YLCSC
group of hands being put together

Join our campaign

Over 21,000 supporters signed our petition for young refugees in England and Wales have the support they need. This is incredible. But we can't stop here.

Our voices still need to be heard by key decision makers. We’re calling on those in power to meet with us so we can tell our stories first hand.

What is a legal guardian?

A guardian is someone that works with local authorities, legal services and other organisations to consistently support separated children and young people through the asylum process. Legal guardians are recognised as being able to make best interest decisions for children and young people. Guardianship schemes exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland but not in England and Wales.

Small things make a huge impact

Why young refugees need guardians

From my experience,  it's important for a child to understand their rights when they arrive in the UK alone. Many don't. We don’t understand what our solicitors are saying, even with an interpreter. It’s too complicated.

why are guardians important?

After difficult journeys, many fleeing war and persecution, separated young people continue to face significant barriers. 

Children need someone to explain the immigration process, to come with us to solicitors' appointments, home office interviews and appeal hearings. A guardian would help with this. We don't have family with us. And our social workers can’t come to everything. 

Guardians also support us with our mental health. The immigration process can take forever. For many of us, it can be years and years of waiting. 

four young people standing smiling at camera

What it means for mental health

Young people end up having to tell their story again and again to different solicitors. We have to talk about the most difficult things in our life over and over and you always worry that people don’t believe you.

Guardians help us tell our story, answer our questions and explain the applications we have already done. They help us get involved in the community. So we can go to college, join youth groups, do shopping, buy clothes, complete our basic needs. 

We need guardians to be by our side along the asylum journey. To be there for us, to help us feel safe.

Image of YLCSC

young people looking out window
The youth led commission for separated children (YLCSC)

Meet the group

The Youth-led Commission's campaign journey

To learn more about the campaign journey, read the latest blogs by the Youth-led Commission for Separated Children