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Hidden Children: What if no one knew who you were?

Children's Voices

Hidden Children: What if no one knew who you were?

What if no one knew who you were?

Gregor* doesn’t know how old he is, because his birth was never registered. Without his birth certificate his health, education and well-being are not being monitored by any government. No one is making sure that Gregor gets the proper care that he needs, and no one is making sure that he is happy. Without a birth certificate, Gregor is left behind.

What if no one knew where you were?

Eva* lives in a big building in the countryside with lots of other children. They are all dressed the same and their hair is cut short. Lots of children of all different ages sleep in the same room, eat at the same times, and do the same things with their days. Eva does not know where the big building is, and she never leaves the grounds, which have high walls. No cars ever drive past, and no one comes to visit. When no one knows where she is, Eva is left behind.

What if no one could hear you?

Max* is 15 and has lots of ideas. However, he sometimes has difficulty expressing himself, and needs support to do this. Because of this, some people treat Max as if he has nothing to say and his opinions do not count. This means Max is unable to speak up for himself when something bad is happening and he is in need of help. When he is not listened to, Max is left behind.

What if there was no place for you in the classroom?

Alina* is 12, and has disabilities. She requires special support at school to learn well. But Alina’s school do not have the facilities to support her. This means there is no place for Alina in her classroom, and she cannot learn alongside her peers. When she is not welcome in the classroom, Alina is left behind.

What if your parents were tricked into giving you away?

Eder* is six years old and his parents are too poor to send him to school or take him to the doctors when he is sick. A man comes to the village and tells Eder’s parents to give him their child, who will live in an orphanage where there is a school and a doctor. But at the orphanage there is not enough food, no school and Eder is beaten when he cries and says he wants to go home. Eder’s parents try to visit him, but the man gave them a false address for the orphanage. They spend years trying to find him; they go to the government to ask for help, but the government does not even know the orphanage exists. Eder sees children disappear from the orphanage every week. He is frightened one day it will be his turn. When he has been trafficked by a criminal, Eder is left behind.

*All names have been changed

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