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Breaking the Chains: Strategies to improve the prospects of Albanian children making successful protection claims

MiCLU and Shpresa Programme

Friday, 1 June 2018 from 14:15 to 17:00 (BST)

Breaking the Chains: Strategies to improve the...

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Event Details

How can legal professionals and others who support young Albanians in the UK ensure that children from Albania are granted meaningful protection against the risks of return to abuse in their country of origin or further exploitation in the UK?

This is a free event taking place on Friday, 1 June 2018 from 2.15-5pm (Boothroyd Room, with soft reception and light lunch from 1.15pm in the Macmillan Room) at the Houses of Parliament (Portcullis House), jointly organised by the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU) at Islington Law Centre and Shpresa Programme, and sponsored by the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP. 

In recent years Albanian children have formed the third largest group of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the UK. Yet in 2015, out of 440 initial decisions, just one grant of asylum was made to an Albanian unaccompanied child, and in 2016 refugee status was granted in just two cases. Most Albanian children are instead given a temporary form of leave to remain in the UK which expires when they reach 17.5 – at which point, their fear of return to Albania not having diminished, they are left with limited options or support to remain legally in the UK and become highly vulnerable to new or further exploitation: Albanian children are the second most referred foreign nationality to the National Referral Mechanism for identifying victims of human trafficking or modern slavery.  

Good legal representation is critical to helping these children break free from the cycle of victimisation. This event aims to bring together specialist barristers and solicitors to share their experience working with children and young people in the context of Albania asylum claims, to explore the challenges and provide strategies, and to reflect on the consequences of failure to obtain protection for the children concerned. And, crucially, to give a voice to those Albanian children and young people navigating the system. 

Expert speakers will talk on the following topics:

  • Blood feud cases and challenging the country guidance
  • Representing trafficking victims and strategic litigation considerations
  • Child-centred case work and how to work with young people
  • Review of country of origin literature and addressing the gaps in research

Artwork centring on experiences of legal representation by young people mentored at Shpresa will be shown at the event, and young people from Shpresa will speak and answer questions.

For the detailed programme please click here.

To read more about the challenges of working with Albanian unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, click here.

Do you have questions about Breaking the Chains: Strategies to improve the prospects of Albanian children making successful protection claims? Contact MiCLU and Shpresa Programme

When & Where

Boothroyd Room
Portcullis House
SW1A London
United Kingdom

Friday, 1 June 2018 from 14:15 to 17:00 (BST)

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MiCLU and Shpresa Programme

MiCLU are the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit, a specialist legal and policy hub based at Islington Law Centre in London.

MiCLU represent and advocate for young people who have been displaced by war, fleeing abuse, and trafficked into the UK for exploitation, and young people separated from their families who are effectively “invisible” in terms of civil and legal status because of immigration laws. 

MiCLU have been working closely with Shpresa Programme, a community based, user-led organisation that promotes the participation and contribution of the Albanian-speaking community in the UK through providing advice, support, education and training.

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