A teenage asylum seeker, who crossed the English Channel in a small boat three weeks in the past, has instructed Sky News he was “terrified” and believed his boat might sink.
The Iranian teenager, who was an unaccompanied minor, has now claimed asylum however could face a prolonged wait to find out whether or not he’ll be granted refugee standing.
Sky News was granted uncommon entry to a centre in Folkestone, the place younger refugees are being helped by an area charity.
The Kent Refugee Action Network has helped greater than 400 teenage asylum seekers in the previous couple of years.
We joined the charity’s workers and volunteers as they helped a gaggle of six younger asylum seekers to regulate to life in the UK, with particular lessons in English and maths, in addition to different recommendation and sensible help with their asylum course of.
We can not establish the children due to their age, however the group from Afghanistan, Iran and Syria stated that they had all fled battle and determined circumstances in their residence nations.
The Iranian teen was one among 336 migrants who crossed the Channel in August, in what was a report month for migrant crossings.
The younger man stated he claimed asylum on his arrival.
“I spent one day at a police station and another day at another centre.”
Already this month, greater than 100 migrants have made the perilous journey, determined to succeed in the UK.
Another teenager from Afghanistan instructed us: “I used to be in Dunkirk for 3 months.
“There was 18 individuals on my small boat. It was a small one, all of the individuals had been on this small boat, not a giant one. I used to be scared.”
Another Afghani teenager instructed us he had been in Calais for six months, attempting to make it to the UK.
He ultimately made it in the again of a lorry, the route the vast majority of cross channel migrants nonetheless select.
At the Folkestone centre an area couple in their 80s volunteer to assist the children modify to British life.
Janet and Derek Peirce stated that they had heard numerous tales of the trauma that has compelled children into risking their lives to get right here.
Derek Peirce stated: “I believe lots of people are simply in worry for his or her lives or they would not be right here. They would by no means danger that journey. I do know I would not.”
Janet Peirce agreed: “Nobody certainly would depart their residence and embark on a journey that is filled with hazard.
“As a mom and grandmother, you’ll be able to’t simply hear their tales and never do one thing to assist. That’s why we assist as a lot as we will right here.”
Staff on the Kent Refugee Action Network stated they’d proceed to do all they might to attempt to assist youngster refugees in search of asylum in the UK.
But the charity has no central authorities funding. It depends on the generosity of native individuals, together with some small grants from native authorities and different companies.
Two migrants have died trying to cross to the UK in current weeks, and as climate circumstances worsen in the months forward, authorities worry it could solely be a matter of time earlier than there’s extra tragedy in the Channel.
The Home Office has issued a contemporary warning to migrants to not try the crossing.
But these warnings have had no impression on the quickly rising numbers attempting to succeed in Britain by small boat.
The Kent Refugee Action Network stated so long as these individuals preserve coming, they may proceed to do all they will to assist them.