Our Mission

At GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) we offer support to those seeking asylum in Gloucestershire, welcoming them when they arrive, advocating for them in their daily struggles, supporting them if they face being sent back as well as helping them adjust to their long term future if they are recognised as refugees.

Contact Information

Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS)
The Trust Centre
Falkner St

Telephone: 01452 550528
General enquiries: info@garas.org.uk
Administrative enquiries: admin@garas.org.uk

Adele Owen

Why teenagers?

December 1, 2016

Yesterday I listened as a teenager told me that the final straw, in his country of origin, was when he was asked to wear a suicide vest.

It was time to go and his poor, widowed mother had to lose her only son and find a way to get him out, because what else could she do?

Earlier this month I stood in Srebinica and heard first- hand the stories of some of the few survivors of the genocide that was committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. Atrocities were carried out on everyone, but it was the men and teenage boys who were identified as a bigger risk and over 8,000 were murdered. They were murdered because they are “dangerous” by being male. They are seen as being the future of the opposition. This is replicated in so many conflicts across the world.

So when politicians and the tabloid press complain that it is teenage boys that turn up seeking asylum and not “cute” babies and toddlers, they need to remember that vulnerability comes in a number of forms and may be precisely because you are a teenage boy! They need our protection not our derision.