Story
23 Aug 2021
By: GMDAC

“Those days my heart would skip a beat whenever I heard the word ‘Home Office.’ You feared they were coming for you anytime you saw a police car. I was completely afraid of asking anyone else for help because I was an illegal immigrant and didn’t want just anyone at all to know. I didn’t even dream of opening up about this problem I was having until I got my papers.”

– Tasha,* a Somalian woman in Bristol looking for her father

“At first, I was trying to look for them but my situation made me stop. I was thinking: if I find them, then what? I don’t have any money, a place to stay or anything for them. I am ashamed of myself and they will be ashamed of me too when they see my situation. I want to know where they are and if they are well, then once things are better, I can reveal myself.”

– Shinne,* a Somali man in Bristol, looking for his missing brothers

“He left with another young man of his same age, his lifetime friend; his friend has not [been found] either; they simply left. They called from a beach, they said that they would sleep there, and leave the next day. That was on a Saturday. That was the last time they called.”

– Noor,* a Moroccan woman looking for her teenage son

“We don’t know which institution is responsible to offer information related to missing migrants. I don’t know where to go or whom to ask in the Government. Secondly, it is impossible to go to the country where [my son] went missing because I can’t afford that. What I can do is to get news from the delala [smuggler] who facilitated his journey. Though I am very disappointed in the delaloch [smugglers], I have never thought to accuse them [of my son’s disappearance] also because most of them are my relatives. Also, I am scared to go to the government office because I have heard of families who sent their children through illegal ways and who were arrested and thrown into jail. Thus, what I can do is keep praying, hoping that one day my God may herald me with good news.”

– Mother of a missing migrant from Ethiopia

*All names have been changed to protect the identity of those quoted.