Hear Our Voices

The testimonies and stories in this short booklet on undocumented children illustrate some of the wide variety of circumstances and reasons that can lead to a child being undocumented. 0ften the reasons are multi-dimensional, reflecting a combination of facts and circumstances and changing status. All children have rights and all EU Member States have committed to ensuring respect for those rights. Our job is to promote the protection of the rights of the child, with a specific focus on children in the most vulnerable situations. The child’s best interests as a primary consideration are writ large in the UNCRC, legislation and policy documents, but when push comes to shove, it seems that this right is not always considered for all children. No child - indeed no person - is illegal. These stories will, I hope, start some much-needed conversations. Beyond Anteneh’s moving reaction to a gesture of kindness when he was in dire straits in Calais about 10 years ago, or the harsh reality of Empress being deported from the UK to another country, or the very challenging and unfair start in life that Hanna has had in Germany, look at the agency and resilience of children such as Natalia and Ramin.