A long way to go: Young refugees and asylum seekers in the UK

Imagine you arrived in a new country, not sure of where you were and not speaking the language. Now imagine you are an eight-year-old child.

A long way to go explores the reality of this situation, which affects thousands of young refugees and asylum seekers every year.

Did you know?

  • 8,000 children arrive in the UK each year claiming asylum—enough to fill eight secondary schools.
  • Young refugees and asylum seekers can be left without a school place for many months, despite having the same rights as other children in the UK.

The report highlights three areas where the work of charities is critical and donors can make an important contribution. These are:

  • supporting children through the asylum process
  • improving access to school places and other support, and
  • increasing refugee children’s integration into the community.

 One charity I met told me about a boy, Stefan, who had been forced to flee the Ukraine, hidden inside a tyre after both his parents vanished. He had not heard from either of them since arriving in the UK.

Ellie Stringer, Research analyst