11 October 2018
The eight teenagers walking towards the bright-green house, called Casa da Acolhida, look like any other group of young people. But they’re not.
Carrying their possessions in torn plastic bags, they are making their way from a police station 200m away. They had been interrogated there after being caught trying to cross the border into South Africa unaccompanied by an adult and without the necessary documentation.
Police in the town of Ressano Garcia routinely catch unaccompanied minors attempting to cross into South Africa.
The town of Ressano Garcia houses the Lebombo border post, the country’s busiest.
A sign at the border post informs anyone willing to read it that unaccompanied minors must be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate, a valid passport and a court order, death certificate or affidavit confirming their parents’ permission for them to travel. But for those who do not have this documentation and are desperate for better lives in South Africa, the only option left for them is an illegal one. And there are many like these eight children.
To read the article titled "Border kids search for a better life " click here