Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Without My Family Report

As if fleeing conflict and persecution wasn’t enough, for child refugees in the UK safety can come at a heavy price. Our report Without My Family highlights the devastating impact on children who have already experienced so much.

Exposing the impact of separation

Along with Refugee Council and Save the Children, the report exposes the impact on child refugees living in the UK of being separated from their families.The children we spoke to told us how the government's policy of keeping families apart caused them constant anxiety, fear for the safety of their parents and siblings and in some cases serious damage to their mental health.

Children need their parents

The UK governments refusal to guarantee a child's right to family reunification is in breach of its international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The arguments the governments put forward in denying these rights revolve around an unfounded fear of encouraging dangerous journeys by more asylum seeking children. Nothing in this research, or wider research into the issue supports this contention. The children we spoke to invite the government to imagine themselves or their families in a similar situation.

What we're calling for

With your help we're calling for the following changes to the current rules:

  • Allow child refugees in the UK the right to sponsor their close family, so they can rebuild their lives together and help them integrate in their new community
  • Expand who qualifies as family, so that young people who have turned 18 and elderly parents can join their family in the UK
  • Reintroduce legal aid for refugee family reunion cases so people who have lost everything have the support they need to afford and navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their families.

We are proud to be part of the Families Together coalition, campaigning for change alongside more than 50 other organisations who want to bring #FamiliesTogether.

Without My Family full report
Without My Family briefing