Article by Yagmur T.
(3 mins read).
It is estimated that 70,000 young refugees and migrants arrived in Italy as unaccompanied and separated children between 2014 and 2018 opines UNICEF, UNHCR, and IOM in a report published. These children need adequate housing and access to good education as well as emotional needs to have the same life chances as their peers on the way to transition from being refugee children to becoming independent adults that contribute to Italian society. However, factors such as slow and complex procedures to obtain legal documents; discrimination they face; difficulties in accessing education and training; as well as; overcoming emotional trauma make it even more difficult for these children with no parents to adapt to a new country and integrating.
Italy provides a formal reception system for unaccompanied migrant children; however, data shows that as of October 2019, 5,000 young refugees and migrants have left Italy’s formal reception system. Most of them leave due to a complex bureaucratic system, a lack of information regarding their legal rights, concerns about their status when they turn 18, or to reunify with other family members. These children often end up being homeless, cut off from protection and basic services which make them extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
Even though all children have a fundamental right to basic education under international and regional human rights law, including EU law, the type, quality, and duration of schooling provided to asylum-seeking refugees and migrant children are determined by their position in the migrant/asylum process, rather than their educational needs. Also, migrant children who are in an irregular situation are the ones who are most likely to miss school.
It is important to highlight that these children need psychosocial support to overcome the stress and trauma accumulated in their countries of origin, transit, or destination and language learning besides basic needs like food, accommodation, and schooling. This is why these children need to stay with a host family where they can obtain the required care, attention, and love they need, rather than being on the streets with no support or protection or living in a child welfare agency. You can volunteer to be a welcoming family for these migrant children who arrived in Italy unaccompanied as they need all your care, love and support. It does not matter if you are a couple, single, with or without children. The most important thing is that you are willing to share your everyday life with a person from a different socio-cultural background and have a bedroom that is exclusively dedicated to the guest(s). This is your chance to change a child’s life permanently. For more information or to volunteer for this initiative, you can contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.