Documentary and Portrait Photographer Mariusz Smiejek is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Unaccompanied’. To see Mariusz’s body of work, click on any image.
Unaccompanied minors turn homeless in Sicily after become adults.
More than 70,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived in Italy between 2011 and 2017 they are mostly from Eritrea, Egypt, Gambia and Somalia.
Most of them were 16 or 17 years old, and although a few were in reality older, the number of children and pre-adolescents under 15 grow from 698 in 2012 to 2,050 in 2015. A very small minority were girls, but they are also growing in number, from 440 to 1,832 over the period, and mostly from Nigeria and Eritrea, often victims of sexual violence while en route to Italy and threatened by prostitution networks in Europe. In Italy, a large numbers of institutions, will shelter the arriving children, often orphans, until they are 18-19 years old. Once they become adults and they get all the necessary documents allowing them to stay and work in the country, they have to start living on their own.
Only in Palermo, there are hundreds of young people in Centres for Unaccompanied Minors who face the same problem and each year a large number of them are forced to look after themselves without support from the government.
All images & text © Mariusz Smiejek
By Mariusz Smiejek
Mariusz’s Previous Contribution To Edge Of Humanity Magazine