Do they know it's Christmas time at all?

Is there ever such a thing as a safe route to escape war and instability? In 2016, Europol -the EU's police intelligence unit- estimated that around 10.000 unaccompanied refugee children had gone missing in Europe. 

For Gulwali Passarlay, who left Afghanistan aged 12, it took him over a year to make it to the United Kingdom. He was separated from his brother almost immediately by human traffickers, so had to make the grueling journey on his own. 

He walked for days, hid in the back of lorries, jumped out of moving trains, and spent two weeks in an adult prison in Turkey before finally arriving on the Turkish coast. From there, he was taken to a boat big enough for 20 people but found 120 people crowded onto the vessel. 

Minutes before his boat sank, the coastguard found them and took them to Greece, where Gulwali was handed over to the police and then to the army. His fingerprints were taken and then was given the devastating news: he'd have to leave within a month or face deportation. 

It's been said that "many countries along the transit route to Europe adopt a 'wave through' approach, where the authorities are turning a blind eye to unaccompanied minors"..."They're not registering them. They're effectively encouraging them to keep going." 

And they do keep going because like Gulwali, children seeking sanctuary are often looking for family members in a safe and stable country. Despite the relationship between Britain and Europe since Brexit, both are sharing a common gap between what should happen and what is actually happening.

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