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Teenager who came to Ireland from Calais calls on EU leaders to listen to children

Publié le 9-05-2019

Source : Irish Times

Autor : Sorcha Pollak

Extracts :

«  A 19-year-old who came to Ireland from Calais as an unaccompanied migrant two years ago has called on European leaders to pay greater attention to the needs of children when making decisions about the future of the union.


Mr Ahmed, a fifth year student living in Dublin, described his solo journey as a teenager from Sudan to Calais in northern France via Libya and the Mediterranean to nearly 200 attendees at the EU Children’ conference in Bucharest, warning that countless children’s voices across Europe were being “silenced”.

“Just because you are a refugee or a migrant does not mean that you are not a child. We came to Europe because we have no choice.

“We were forced to leave our homes. It is important for children not only to be listened to at a European level but also within our communities. We need to feel like we belong.”


Unaccompanied minors

In August 2017, Mr Ahmed arrived in Ireland after the Government committed to bringing up to 200 unaccompanied minors from the Calais. A total of 41 young people were ultimately brought to Ireland under the programme.

This week’s conference in Romania saw students join more than a hundred child rights experts and European high-level officials for the publication of the ‘Bucharest EU Children’s Declaration’ which was written by young people and will be presented to European heads of state, including Leo Varadkar, at the European Council summit being held in the city of Sibiu, also in Romania.


“There is an urgent need for serious action from governments concerning climate change, and it is up to us, the children, to persuade them to make this their top priority, and the forefront of every decision they make. And they must remember to include us along the way, not only because we are the future, but because we are the present as well, and now is the time for change.”  »

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