It is estimated that 8 million unaccompanied refugee children are currently on the move worldwide, the majority being boys, travelling alone without their families.
The experiences of persecution, violence and war in their home countries are followed by loss and separation, being exposed to exploitation, abuse and life-threatening journeys at the mercy of traffickers. Those who make it to a European country are faced with the complex challenges of their asylum claims and cultural integration – all without the help of their parents.
Despite the resilience and survival skills of these young people, many suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). All of them are in need of professional and personal support in order to have a chance to integrate their experiences, rebuild their young lives and be able to make valuable contribution to their local communities and society as a whole.
According to a Europol report in early 2016, an estimated 10,000 unaccompanied children have disappeared in Europe during recent years. It is feared that the majority of them have fallen into the hands of criminal gangs and organised trafficking syndicates for sexual, labour and organ exploitation. Many are at risk of being radicalised.
Enthum House was inspired by the founders’ volunteering, campaigning and fundraising work for unaccompanied minors during 2015 – 2016 in the Calais Jungle, Northern France’s unofficial refugee camp.
The Enthum Foundation strongly supports the Lord Dubs amendment and is part of Safe Passage’s National Campaign Group.