Bureau's work on unaccompanied minors nominated for prestigious award

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been shortlisted for a prestigious One World Media radio award.

The nomination comes for the podcast “Kids Crossing Borders Alone”, which we produced last year with Reveal, a weekly investigative radio programme in the US. 

Our reporter Maeve McClenaghan spent two years following the case of Abdul, who made his way to the UK aged 15 in 2007 after the Taliban abducted his father. We spoke to Abdul’s friends, teachers, lawyers and spent hours talking to him about his experiences, allowing him to tell his own story.

The podcast revealed the scale and consequences of the UK’s use of temporary leave for unaccompanied asylum seeking children. We found the Home Office was forcibly sending teenagers who had lived for years in the UK back to Afghanistan.

The programme also explored how the Swedish system treats children and revealed for the first time the scale of the crisis across Europe. We reported that 95,000 unaccompanied children had arrived in Europe in 2015, a four-fold increase on the year before. Reporter Safya Khan-Ruf used freedom of information and other data collection methods to work out an accurate figure.

Kids crossing borders - alone by Reveal

In a collaboration with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in the United Kingdom and KQED in California, this episode of Reveal tells the stories of children crossing borders alone. You'll hear about the wars they're fleeing, where they're trying to go and what happens to them when they get there.

The work led to a parliamentary debate on what happens when asylum-seeking children turn 18. It has been used in numerous court cases and was quoted extensively in two parliamentary inquiry reports into asylum issues.

Our findings also resulted in the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR writing new guidelines on Afghan asylum seekers, citing the Bureau’s articles and recognising for the first time the dangers of sending “Westernised” young men back.

Also nominated in the One World radio category are various broadcasts from the BBC, including the BBC World Service’s "Paralympic Overachievers? The Story of Ukraine", and other shows including Food Radio Project‘s programme “Sikkim: The First Organic State”.

The awards, which have been running since 1988, celebrate the best media coverage of the developing world.