“They took me to the police station and took away my shoes… Then they locked me with other people in a cell. We were around 40 people. Children and adults. Some were sleeping on the floor. If you were asking for something, the police officers were beating you or kicking you with their boots.” This is the testimony of an unaccompanied minor making their way to a new life in Europe. In 2020, three out of 10 migrants were children – and 10% of those children were travelling unaccompanied.
These children are often very vulnerable and suffer from trauma experienced before, during and after their transition to their new countries. However, many national governments do not offer the comprehensive support necessary to help these children integrate and achieve their best. The cities of Amsterdam, Leeds, Malmo and Tilburg are among those that are filling the gaps to ensure that unaccompanied migrant children have everything they need to get a fair start in life.