Podcast: Kids crossing Europe’s and America’s borders – alone

Fleeing countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 95,000 unaccompanied children claimed asylum in Europe last year. In the US, many others arrived alone from Mexico and El Salvador. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism partnered with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting in the USA to tell some of their stories of what happened after they arrived.

We followed migrants who travelled from Afghanistan to Sweden to London, from El Salvador and Mexico to California, and we found that under 18 year olds seeking safe harbour in Europe and the US often confront years of uncertainty and insecurity when they arrive.

We begin in Sweden. In the past year, Sweden has been overwhelmed by the number of people streaming across its borders – in particular, children and teenagers. In this first segment, we hear from reporter Maeve McClenaghan of the Bureau who travelled to the Swedish city of Malmo to learn more.

Next, we meet up with Maeve in London, who brings us the story of a young man she’s been following for two years. He’s determined not to go back to his home country of Afghanistan. But after eight years, he still doesn’t know if the British government will let him stay.

And finally, we head back to the states and hear from KQED reporters Tyche Hendricks and Ana Tintocalis about what happens to young migrants in America.

*Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, is a first­-of­-its­-kind, weekly one-hour public radio show dedicated to investigative reporting. The Peabody Award-­winning show features reporting by CIR’s newsroom, public radio stations and nonprofit and for­-profit newsrooms, large and small. Each Reveal episode is built around a theme and features an original investigate story, along with other stories that deliver context, texture and deeper understanding of the theme. Reveal breaks down complex investigations into compelling, narrative-­driven stories that inform, engage and – we hope – occasionally inspire.