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Help children who arrive in the UK alone get a guardian

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

we are stronger together

we are stronger together

Support the campaign

After tireless campaigning, the group of young people secured a meeting with the Children's Commissioner. Here they will make the case for unaccompanied child migrants to have legal guardians in the UK.

Wish them luck and send your messages of support. Together we can make positive change for children who arrive in the UK alone. 

Share a message of support with the young campaigners

What is a legal guardian?

A guardian is someone who works with local authorities, legal services and other organisations to consistently support separated children and young people through the asylum process.

Legal guardians are able to make decisions in the best interest of 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

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)
young man looking strong sun setting in the trees behind him

Giving a voice to young people seeking safety

In a special two-part podcast we spoke to TJ, Ayo, Ope, Ibrahim and Pheonix from the YLCSC about their life experiences and why it’s important for them to be part of this campaign. Read on to find out what they had to say.

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.