“The plight of young refugees in Germany,” by Martin Koch for Deutsche-Welle:
Around 2,000 “unaccompanied under-age refugees” came to Germany last year. They need help to overcome bureaucratic hurdles – and for many the suffering is a long way from over.
They come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Somalia – children and young people, fleeing their home countries, taken in while trying to enter Germany illegally. Their status: “unaccompanied under-age refugees.” Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees registered some 2,096 of them in the past year, and the tendency is rising. Some lost their parents in a war, others were sent away in the hope that they would find success abroad, and could one day support their parents and siblings financially.
But first they have to deal with difficult new circumstances: lost in a foreign culture, not knowing the language, often still grieving for loved ones. Youth welfare offices and charities are there to help them, and if a court rules that they are indeed under-age, they have an automatic right to benefits: children and young people are entitled to sleep in double rooms, receive regular meals, and get help finding a school, have access to social workers, and things to do in their free time…