Stories of child refugees

To celebrate the 18th birthday of the Refugee Council's Children's Section, we produced three short animations featuring child refugees sharing their stories in their own words.

Melody's story

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In this animation, Melody tells her story of arriving in the UK completely alone at the age of 12. She was sent to the UK from her home country of Nigeria to live with a friend of the family, but was forced to live in domestic servitude and was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused. To find out more about our vital work protecting child refugees like Melody, please visit this page.

Matiullah's story

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In this short film, Matiullah shares his reason for fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan when he was only 15 years old, and what he went through during his 3-month long, treacherous journey to the UK. He also shares his experience of being in the UK, his love for cricket and for helping others.

Matiullah is currently a volunteer for the Refugee Council and was recently presented with an award by Muhammad Ali and David Beckham for his work in the community. You can read about it here.

Faisal's story

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Faisal fled Afghanistan at the age of 15 and, after arriving in the UK, was held in a detention centre as an adult because the authorities did not believe he was a child. Faisal tells us of his horrific experience in the detention centre and how he felt he wasn’t treated like a human being.

The Refugee Council launched this film in conjunction with its report, Not a Minor Offence, which details the experiences of many other young people like Faisal who have been detained, the problems with assessing the age of these young people, and recommendations for the government to ensure no child is detained. It also details the work the Refugee Council does to ensure children like Faisal are released from detention.