A refugee is someone who has had to leave their home and country in order to live in safety. They may be threatened by war, hunger, political or sexual discrimination. We call refugees ‘asylum seekers’ because they are seeking asylum (safety) in this country.
If they are granted asylum by the government then they are given refugee status.
Take Action: Learn about Refugee Week, a unique opportunity to discover and celebrate the contributions refugees make to the UK.
Anyone aged under 18 is a child in the UK. Anyone over 18 is an adult and has different rights. Often children who are refugees or asylum seekers have lost identity documents or are not sure of their age. They are treated as a child until they have an age assessment, which decides if they are a child or an adult.
The assessments are carried out by social workers. Social workers also help keep the child safe, find them a school or college, a safe place to stay and a doctor.
Crucial: Sometimes children are brought into the county from abroad, or from other places in the UK, to be exploited. This could include sexual exploitation or forced marriage, making the child look after, carry or sell drugs, or making the child work long hours, look after children or do housework. This is called Child Trafficking and is child abuse. You can report concerns to the Local Authority or the Police. Find out more about Modern Slavery.
A difficult time
Having to leave your home and country is a frightening experience. Refugees may have lost all their belongings and left family members behind. They may be traumatised by the experiences they have been through. As well as the support available through the County Council, there are other groups that provide specialist support and information for asylum seekers in Oxfordshire.