Selam's Story (English)
Many refugees and asylum seekers on the move along the Central Mediterranea route leave behind or get separated from their families at different stages of their journey. While the family reunification process should in theory benefit any eligible family member, refugees worldwide, particularly children, often face significant difficulties and barriers in accessing family reunification. These include understanding the complex application process, obtaining requested documentation, accessing the relevant Embassy, affording the related costs (DNA tests, travel expenses, etc.), obtaining exit visas, or other obstacles. In order to foster an understanding of refugees’ rights and their eligibility to family reunification, in addition to the support and assistance UNHCR and partners provide, UNHCR Office of the Special Envoy produced this short animation video targeting refugee and asylum-seeking children and youth, as well as vulnerable adults and families.
For seven years, Eritrean refugee Tesfalem felt his life was on hold. He had fled his home country, where open-ended military service and forced government service constrains the lives of young people, and found safety in neighbouring Ethiopia, but as a refugee Tesfalem’s options were limited.