LONDON — Hundreds of children living rough in London and other cities may have no nationality, the BBC has found.
BBC has uncovered stories of children who, according to official records, do not exist – some forced into sex work to eat.
Further research by the BBC suggests it is a UK-wide problem.
Charities warn of stateless children in Birmingham, Leeds, Coventry, Nottingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Oxford and Cardiff.
“The problems caused by statelessness are by no means limited to London,” Chris Nash, of charity Asylum Aid, said.
Though, he acknowledges it is in the capital that the problem is most acute.
Many of London’s stateless youths came to the UK legally, but were never officially registered.
They cannot access education or apply for social housing.
And according to two respected youth charities contacted by the BBC, there are “hundreds” of them in the city.
Both Coram Children’s Legal Centre and Peckham Project Safe ‘n’ Sound are calling for increased awareness of the problem.
Safe ‘n’ Sound’s Jennifer Blake said: “To date, we’ve been approached by over 600 young people. It is a big issue.” (BBC)