Conference on Modern Child Slavery Today

3 October 2016
On 3rd Oct, we hosted together with our partners - MiCLU, ECPAT UK, The Children’s Society and The Helen Bamber Foundation - a one-day conference for front line practitioners (police; social workers; lawyers, health workers), policy officers and academics to explore the causes and consequences of trafficking on children and young people. The conference aimed to promote the development of holistic integrated interdisciplinary approaches to working with young people who have been trafficked from overseas and to stress the importance of finding durable solutions for them, increasing their protection in the present and for the future. Our young community members played an important role in voicing their experiences and in advocating for change. A film that they made for the conference can be found at:


Baobab Centre’s 2017 Lecture Series: ‘Resilience and Vulnerability: the Gains and Costs of Survival for Young People seeking Asylum.’

Professor Ravi Kohli gave a Baobab Talk on: ‘Working with unaccompanied asylum seeking children: some thoughts from the field’
15 March 2017
In his seminar, Professor Kohli reflected on the various ways young people seeking asylum are defined by the movements (and borders) in their lives – movements from place to place, the movements of growing up, and the psychological movements that they make to find some internalised balance in their lives. He touched upon what ‘home’ means in the context of such movements, and how they build, and can be helped to build sheltered and sustainable lives.  A PDF of the presentation can be accessed here.
Baobab Centre’s 2017 Lecture Series: ‘Resilience and Vulnerability: the Gains and Costs of Survival for Young People seeking Asylum.’

Dr Zoe Given-Wilson gave a talk on: ‘'Remembering and telling:  A psychological perspective on young asylum seekers’ testimonies.' 
5 July 2017
Zoe Given-Wilson is the child researcher for the Centre for the Study of Emotion and the Law. Her talked looked into psychological and developmental issues pertinent to decision making in young people's refugee status claims. She is a clinical psychologist and has both research and clinical experience working with children from a range of cultures and backgrounds.
Baobab Talk Series: ‘Exploring the challenges of the current context for young people seeking asylum’

Dr John Campbell (see biography below) gave a talk on:
'What prospect for asylum in the 21st Century'
15 November 2017.
Dr John Campbell, Reader in the Anthropology of Africa and Law is a social anthropologist at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Dr Campbell has carried out extensive research into the British Asylum System. Between January 2007 and January 2009 he undertook a research project "Refugees and the Law: An ethnography of the British Asylum System". This sought to follow refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia who were seeking asylum in the UK. At the beginning of 2017, he published ‘Bureaucracy, Law and Dystopia in the United Kingdom's Asylum System’, based on ethnographic research over a two-year period. The book analyses numerous asylum appeals as they go through the British courts and draws on a myriad of interviews with individuals and an examination of many state and non-state organisations with a view to understanding how the asylum system in the UK works. In addition, Dr Campbell has undertaken research in Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia and the UK and development consultancy work in Ethiopia, Kenya and Botswana. He provides expert reports for Ethiopian and Eritrean asylum applicants.


Fundraising for Baobab

We invite you to a series of entertainment benefits for The Baobab Centre For Young Survivors In Exile, a charity for young asylum seekers (
These events will be held at the Church Hall in St Mary’s New Church, on Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 9ES.
Snacks and drinks available Doors open 7pm for a 7.30 and sessions will end around 9pm with chatting time afterwards. Tickets are £15, £10 students, cash on the night, and places are limited so PLEASE RSVP to or letting us know which ones you would like to attend.
December 7
Documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto (Divorce Iranian Style, Sisters in Law, Rough Aunties, Dreamcatcher and many others) followed by Q and A in conversation with Melanie McFadyean. Kim will be showing clips from some of her award winning films.
Baobab Talk Series: The trouble with trafficking: protection for children on the move

A conversation around how children seeking protection are positioned in current debates on ‘trafficking’ and the implications in both policy and practical terms. Bridget  unpacked the concept of ‘trafficking’, how it is understood and who is - and is not - included in the debate on how to prevent it. Heaven Crawley focused on the difficulties experienced by children who move, but are not considered to have been ‘trafficked’, in accessing the protection to which they entitled under international refugee law, with particular reference to the issue of guardianship in Scotland.

Heaven Crawley:
Heaven Crawley is Professor of International Migration at Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations where she leads a team of researchers working on issues of migration, displacement and belonging. Heaven has served as a specialist adviser to the Home Affairs Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) on three separate occasions. She is a patron of the Baobab Centre for Young Survivors in Exile and Asylum Justice and a Trustee of Migrant Voice. In 2012 Heaven was conferred the title of Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in recognition of her contribution to the social sciences and to evidence-based policy making.
Bridget Anderson: Bridget Anderson is Professor of Mobilities, Migration and Citizenship at the University of Bristol. She was previously the Research Director of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. Her interests include citizenship, nationalism, immigration enforcement (including ‘trafficking’), and care labour. Her most recent authored book is ‘Us and Them? The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls’ (OUP, 2013).  Although now an academic Bridget started her working life in the voluntary sector working with migrant domestic workers, and she has retained an interest in domestic labour and migration. She has worked closely with migrant organisations, trade unions and legal practitioners at local, national and international level.


Baobab Talk Series: The Plans and Hopes and Fears of Afghan Families For the Future.

Prof. Liza Schuster
13 March 2019
Based on Prof. Schuster's extensive ethnographic work in Afghanistan, the talk discussed how migration figured in Afghan families' plans, hopes and fears for the future. 
Liza researches different stages of the migration process, in particular the European regimes governing asylum, entry and deportation, as well as the impact of deportation on those deported and their families. An important element of her work is the role of racism as a cause and response to migration. She worked in Afghanistan, exploring how fears and perceptions about the presidential elections and the withdrawal of international forces in 2014 is affecting emigration, while finishing two manuscripts. She has also recently helped launch the Afghanistan Migration Advice Organization.

You can listen to the recording of the event on the following podcast platforms:
Baobab Talk Series: Child Protection in the UK, 2 research projects from UNHCR

29 May 2019
Max McClellan and Lucy Gregg from the legal protection team at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in London came to talk to Baobab about their current work on child protection in the UK relating to unaccompanied and separated children. UNHCR has been funded by the EU to undertake three research projects and the talk featured presentations on two of these projects. These reports have been written also with the support of UNICEF and IOM.

Best Interests project 
Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child gives every child the right to have his or her best interests assessed and taken into account as a primary consideration in all actions or decisions that concern him or her. UNHCR has been undertaking research to review the current approach to the consideration of the best interests in unaccompanied and separated children’s cases, using an analysis of the existing child protection and asylum systems. This aimed to understand if these systems and procedures are appropriate, and whether they are accessible to unaccompanied children. An expert Advisory Group of eight professionals who have worked extensively in the UK system for many years (including lawyers, social workers, NGOs, judges and academics) advised on the content of the report.  Lucy highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the current systems and outlined proposals for alternative approaches. This research will be the first UN commissioned document which provides concrete proposals for how the principle of best interests for unaccompanied and separated children could be strengthened and implemented comprehensively within and across UK procedures.

Children’s Integration Study
This study is on the reception arrangements and early integration support of unaccompanied and separated asylum-seeking and refugee children and young people (under 23 years old) in the UK. It is based on interviews with 65 children and young people and 47 key experts (mostly frontline professionals; social workers, service managers, youth workers and foster carers). The research covers areas including the experiences of children on arrival, and in reception and orientation, transfers and resettlement to the UK, care and accommodation, education and English language learning, health and wellbeing, safeguarding and social inclusion. The research was conducted due to an increase in the numbers of unaccompanied refugee children living in the UK in recent years as well as significant changes in the policy environment.  

UNHCR is also undertaking a third study which is investigating the motivations as well as push and pull factors of children’s journeys to the UK. All three research reports will be published later this year.


Baobab Talk Series: Treating trauma in former child soldiers in Democratic Republic of Congo
“Invisible children, forgotten stories: Treating trauma in former child soldiers in Democratic Republic of Congo"
2 October 2019

Dr. Katy Robjant discussed her work with former child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The talk focused on the work that Dr. Katy Robjant has been recently conducting in Democratic Republic of Congo providing psychological intervention for victims of sexual and gender based violence with the international not for profit organisation In Vivo.

Dr. Robjant is Director of Clinical Services at Freedom From Torture and Consultant Clinical Psychologist and co-Founder of Trauma Treatment International, an organization that provides psychological services to victims of organised violence and support to the organisations that care for them, anywhere in the world. She was formerly the Head of Therapy Services at the Helen Bamber Foundation. She is considered an expert in Narrative Exposure Therapy and has provided training worldwide including in the UK, Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ukraine.

This talk is now available for you to listen on the following platforms:
     Spotify     Google Podcasts     Radio Public     Breaker