Every year, about 1,300 children and young people come to the UK alone from countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, seeking asylum. This is only a tiny fraction of the millions displaced by wars and persecution around the world. They make hazardous journeys overland to get here, passed from one agent to another, often in great danger.
On arrival they learn English, go to school make friends, and become like other UK teenage kids.
As minors they’re protected in the UK by law. But when they turn 18, unless they can win a difficult legal appeal, they can be picked up any night, detained and deported back to countries that fill them with fear.
What’s it like being these young people? Is Britain really home to them? Can they ever find a safe future? Is it right that our government welcomes them, then treats them like criminals because they turn 18?
Filmmaker and writer Sue Clayton has worked with these young people for many years.
BIG JOURNEYS UNTOLD STORIES will tell their stories in stills, film and prose.
The site begins with just a few links and samples of the stories, but in the coming months we’ll upload lots more material – and tell you what you can do to get involved.