young refugee child walking in a refugee camp
Campaign – 10 May 2018

SOS Children’s Villages UK launches Walk a Mile campaign for child refugees

SOS Children’s Villages UK, the world’s largest charity working with unsupported children, is launching a campaign in solidarity with child refugees worldwide.

The campaign is encouraging people to Walk a Mile in the shoes of a child refugee and consider what it must be like to be a child fleeing for their life from violence, warfare and disaster. It asks people to show their support by sharing a photo of their walking feet on social media with the hashtag #walkamile.

Fifty million children have been displaced from their homes worldwide. Consequently, children now account for half of the world’s refugees. Many are travelling the world’s key migrant routes in search of a safe haven, where they will be exposed to extreme risks of abuse, trafficking and exploitation. At least 300,000 of them are facing these dangers alone, having lost or been separated from their parents.

CEO of SOS Children’s Villages UK Alison Wallace said: “Child refugees are children first and foremost. They deserve our compassion and our protection. Many have survived trauma, bereavement and the loss of everything dear to them yet all too often they are met with suspicion, rejection and prejudice as they attempt to find a safe place to call home.

“We are asking people to walk a mile in the shoes of a child refugee and imagine how it would feel to lose everything – your home, friends, school, perhaps even family – and make the long and dangerous journey towards a new home, never knowing where the next meal is coming from or who you can trust. By standing together in support of child refugees, we can be a force for change.”

This Refugee Week (June 18-24) SOS Children’s Villages UK will be hosting events around the country where people can show their support for child refugees including film screenings in partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas, Walk to School Day and a Walk a Mile march through Cambridge.

Attendees will Walk a Mile to show solidarity with child refugees, acknowledge their courage and stand up for their right to be reunited with their families. The walk will culminate with a ‘Great Get Together’ in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox, a champion of refugee rights and a strong believer that we have far more in common than that which divides us. Attendees are being asked to please bring their own food and drink.

SOS Children’s Villages UK is also campaigning in support of the Refugee Family Reunion Bill, currently progressing through Parliament, which would bring unaccompanied refugee children one step closer to being reunited with their families. Current immigration laws are preventing refugee children who have leave to remain in the UK from sponsoring family members to join them and often results in children being raised in care.

You can find out more information about the SOS Children’s Villages UK Walk a Mile campaign and how you can get involved here

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact us at Lucy.Prioli@sosuk.org or 01223 222 974.