Since the dawn of time people have migrated. There are now more displaced people and refugees than at any other time in recorded history. Among those who go into exile, some are more vulnerable than others. In 2015 one in four asylum seekers in Europe was a child, some unaccompanied by parents, sent by them into exile because they saw no future for them at home.
According to Eurostat, in 2015 about 90,000 unaccompanied minors entered the EU. It's about 8 times more than what Europe experienced between 2008 and 2013. 91% of them were boys, and 51% were Afghan.
With the support of Magnum Emergency Fund I started photographing these boys last summer in Red Cross centers in Belgium. As part of this project I also produce photographic workshops where refugee youth are empowered to use photography to document their own experiences. They photograph their friends, their room, their feet.
At a time when borders are closing, fear and xenophobia are rising, it seems more crucial than ever to address the different issues of immigration, and tell the story of these refugee youth who travel thousands of miles without their parents or guardians, to try to rebuild a life.
Project supported by Magnum Foundation