Hien’s story - Refugee Council

Hien’s story

When he was just 10 years old, Hien was taken from his mother by child traffickers. He was exploited and abused and eventually brought to the UK where the traffickers forced him to work on a cannabis farm.

When the police raided the farm, Hien was arrested. He didn’t even know he was in the UK.

Hien was eventually placed in foster care, but his Refugee Council adviser saw that he seemed isolated and depressed. When Hien had to travel for legal and other appointments, his adviser met him at the train station. For the first few weeks they went with him everywhere, and made sure he safely caught the train back home.

While other childcare professionals were using Google Translate to talk to Hien, we worked with an interpreter. This enabled his adviser to explain things clearly to Hien, from important legal issues to how to use public transport so that he could get out and about and get involved in his community. Importantly it also gave Hien the opportunity to talk about things which were on his mind.

Hien told his adviser that no one had ever offered him unconditional support before – he was always expected to do something in return. There is still more to achieve but, for the first time since he was a small child, Hien is learning to trust adults and make progress in his new life.

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