POLICY AND CAMPAIGNING

As a community-led organisation we regularly speak out on issues impacting our community. Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people are disenfranchised and their voices are not easily heard in the political sphere. As an organisation we are working to change that, and to push the issues affecting this group up the agenda.

Due to our beginnings, we have a particular focus on issues that impact the mental health and wellbeing of young and unaccompanied asylum-seekers and refugees. The trauma that these young people experience can be compounded by negative experiences in care as looked-after children, and within the asylum system. Age disputes; long delays to decisions on an asylum claim; poor care through social services; homelessness and poor quality housing; enforced family separation – these are all issues that impact on this group. Racism and xenophobia can be seen in the every day experiences of black and brown asylum-seeking youth – from how they are treated by social workers and care providers – to negative experiences with the police and within the criminal legal system – to how they are spoken about by politicians and in the media.

In order to change the narrative we regularly work with the press and media. Da'aro Youth Project has previously been a positive voice for change in the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, the Financial Times, BBC News, ITV News and in local publications. We have also engaged directly with parliamentarians, and issues we have raised have then been spoken about in the Houses of Parliament. We've previously written to the government, with the support of 46 other organisations from the children's sector and the mental health sector, and engaged the Department for Education and the Home Office in discussion about the issues that impact the young people we work with.

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