Young human rights reporter of the year 2011 - primary school runner up


Back in January, we announced the Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year 2011 competition. (the Guardian's news website for schools) ran the competition in partnership with Amnesty International UK. We asked children aged seven to 14 to write up to 250 words on a human rights story.

Suraj's winning article is called Refugees in Britain

A refugee is someone who is forced to leave their country and seek safety in another country because of fear of persecution in their own country due to race, religion or political choices.

During the Holocaust Jewish refugees were denied entry to many countries. To make sure that people did not suffer in the same way again, 134 countries including Britain signed an agreement to help protect refugees.

Imagine how you would feel if you had to leave this country in fear of your own safety. Who would you turn to? Where would you go? How would you cope?

I asked these questions to a refugee living in Coventry. She arrived eight years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

She and her family were imprisoned for opposing the government. She escaped to England and was a sole survivor in her family.

When she arrived she was scared, found the country cold and some people were unkind to her.

Her biggest problem was our language and other people's lack of understanding. In my opinion although refugees are being treated better now, they are still not getting respect they deserve. The phrase "treat people how you would like to be treated" comes to my mind.

Also Britain is not an 'easy' country to live in as many people proclaim. Refugees don't want benefits, they would rather earn money by hard work and labour.
Finally the trauma some refugees have endured in their own countries is immense and this needs understanding and support from us.