Lone child refugees arriving in the UK are cut off not only from the culture, language, homeland and familiar circumstances in which they grew up but also from the love and concern of the people who have cared for them most. Their parents may have died, been detained or otherwise unable to leave. Many separated children will have suffered the trauma of war, civil unrest, bereavement, hunger and persecution, and the stresses of long and hazardous journeys.
Here we have a selection of refugee-related quotes which highlight the plight of refugees and separated children and the positive contribution they make to society.
“I was only 8 years old when I lost my entire family.
Only I and my younger brother survived….”
Kamran Foladi, from Afghanistan
“No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”
“Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us—except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale.”
Only last week, new statistics showed that children in London who don’t have English as a first language were outperforming the national average at GCSEs. Immigrants and refugees who come here want to integrate and want to contribute — if we give them the opportunity
A refugee is someone who survived and who can create the future.
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“Refugees are not terrorists. They are often the first victims of terrorism”
“…you meet these young people like you, you talk, you share things…you become friends. But later on you tell them you are a refugee or an asylum seeker, and, all of a sudden, they switch….”
Thomas, Aged 17, from Kenya
“Refugees are neither seen nor heard, but they are everywhere. They are witnesses to the most awful things that people can do to each other, and they become storytellers simply by existing. Refugees embody misery and suffering, and they force us to confront terrible chaos and evil”
“We have a legal and moral obligation to protect people fleeing bombs, bullets and tyrants, and throughout history those people have enriched our society.”
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”
“If we lived in a just world, all nations would protect their citizens’ human rights. But that’s not our world. Refugees are just one result of injustice. Crucially, they didn’t cause their plight; rather, they are victims of profound injustice. Because their home nation cannot or will not protect even their basic human rights, they must migrate in search of protection. They are entitled to this protection, as all of us are, simply by virtue of being human.”
“Refugees didn’t just escape a place. They had to escape a thousand memories until they’d put enough time and distance between them and their misery to wake to a better day.”
“It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks.”
“The refugee crisis is a humanitarian challenge that must be collectively owned and collectively solved, whether we are talking about legal frameworks, institutional responses or funding. By crafting new humanitarian solutions to this crisis, critical contributions can be made to international peace and stability.”