Kids in Need of Defense UK website

Research estimates that there are over 120,000 undocumented children in the UK. Some of those children are British but unable to prove it, as many as half of them have an entitlement to British citizenship and many more would suffer human rights violations if they had to leave the UK.

Undocumented children are vulnerable to poverty, social exclusion and exploitation. As they transition into adulthood they will be excluded from work and higher education and may be removed to a country they have never lived in.

Led by Central England Law Centre, Kids in Need of Defense UK is a collaboration between the US charity, KIND Inc. and four UK not for profit organisations (Coram Children’s Legal Centre, the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit at Islington Law Centre, Just Right Scotland and Central England Law Centre) that is working to overcome this problem.

Kids in Need of Defense UK partners with law firms and businesses. Their lawyers provide free legal representation to children and young people. We call them our pro bono lawyers because they give their time for the public good; not profit.

Undocumented children struggle to access free legal advice. Changes to legislation in 2013 dramatically reduced the scope of legal aid meaning that children cannot automatically qualify for free legal help with citizenship and immigration applications.

We want to make sure that all children can access high quality, free legal representation so that they be helped to navigate a complex immigration system and secure British citizenship or leave to remain. We want all children to realise their dreams, regardless of their immigration status.