Let children be children

Asylum seeking childre: We want the the right to a safe childhood

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At least 120 children have lived between 4 and 12 years in Danish asylum centers - some of them their entire lives. That is an existence unworthy of any child.

Therefore, asylum seeking children and their parents from Trampoline House call for a campaign focusing on the right to a safe childhood for children in the asylum system.

Life in an asylum center is characterized by uncertainty and worries, and that’s incompatible with the framework needed for ensure children a safe and dignified childhood. Medical examinations indicate that many people fall ill from the waiting time, the uncertainty, the inactivity and the feeling of not being in control of one’s own life – and that many years spent in the centers without closure results in different permanent sufferings.

That makes it difficult for parents to give their children a normal, attentive and educational upbringing in the asylum system.

There are particularly 4 issues that asylum seeking children and their parents wish to focus on:

”Stop moving us from center to center like animals” – Families are often being moved from asylum center to asylum center. On average, an asylum seeker in Denmark lives in 6 different centers during the asylum process. The result is an isolated and unsafe existence, where it’s difficult for children to trust and attach themselves to others.

”Don’t put innocent children in prison” – More and more families are being moved to the deportation camps if the family’s asylum application is rejected. Here, they face prison-like conditions: the children have poor possibilities to participate in leisure activities, the parents aren’t allowed to plan and prepare dinners, and the family doesn’t receive any money. Combined with the high levels of stress in the deportation camps, these conditions only worsen the children’s well-being even more.

”I want to live with my whole family” – The Danish government has made it easier to forcibly remove asylum seeking children from their parents, but forced removals are not a viable solution. Paradoxically, it’s the asylum system itself that makes it difficult to be a good parent and that creates the need for forced removals.

“Don’t deport my mum” – Even children who have residency in Denmark through one parent are negatively affected if the other parent can’t get family reunification or asylum.

 

All children should be ensured a normal childhood

All children deserve to be treated as children. But their welfare can only be secured in the asylum system if asylum seeking parents are guaranteed safe and stable conditions.

Therefore, we recommend that:

  • all asylum-seeking families be ensured real chances of a normal life with a home outside the centers and access to local kindergartens and public schools
  • all asylum decisions consider the welfare of the child – regardless if the child is already a legal resident or not
  • the asylum case processing time for children and their parents be shortened

 

Do you want to join?

Everybody is invited to participate, regardless of political viewpoints. Right now it’s not about asylum politics as we know it, but exclusively about children’s right to a safe childhood.

Trampoline House is calling on other organizations to join the campaign. Please contact us if you are interested in joining it, too. We plan to invite all interested organizations for a meeting in the middle of October.

For further information, please contact:

Tone Olaf Nielsen, Program og Women’s Club Coordinator in Trampoline House: toneolafnielsen@trampolinehouse.dk / 20 93 50 86

Kajsa Böttcher Messell, Communikations Coordinator in Trampoline House: kajsa@trampolinehouse.dk / 50 17 46 64


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