An unaccompanied minor with a self-inflicted wound in the clinic in Moria.
July 09, 2020
“About four hundred unaccompanied children, mainly boys, live in the Jungle of Moria. If they are lucky they live with a couple of other unaccompanied minors who stick up for each other. Others are alone, go from tent to tent in the hope they are allowed to sleep there for one night. The boys don’t get a tent, because it is illegal to leave unaccompanied underaged refugees without any care but since there is no place and capacity to house all of them inside, they are left by themselves.”
Not being with their family is the biggest burden the boys have to bear. All of them are here on their own, either because their family members died, or they got separated on the way to Europe. Remember the time when you where a teenager? Imagine that confusing time with no stability whatsoever, no school, no one telling you what to do or giving you guidance. Teenagers need someone to see them as a person, believe in them and encourage them. Instead, they are treated like secondary people and are yelled at at by the police at the gates. When people are constantly shouting at you, eventually you will lose hope in people.
I see them often, boys who lost hope. Depression is very common amongst the unaccompanied minors. Some turn their emotion towards others, some towards themselves. Unaccompanied minors doing self harm is very common. Most of them cut in their arms, some are even suicidal or psychotic. They have lost faith in people and hope that things will get better. These conditions are in direct relation with the stress of Moria. They need care and protection. The treatment of these kids would no where else in Europe be legal.”
Photo: Tessa Kraan