The Without My Mum film has been created using handmade puppets and stop motion animation to urge the government to change immigration rules that prevent refugees seeing their family.
The Refugee Council has released a stop animation puppet video to show the heartwrenching ordeal of families who are separated due to war and conflict.
It is called ‘Without my mum’ and tells the story of a mother and her young son whose loving relationship is ripped apart by war.
The mother manages to save her son, who finds safety in Britain with a foster family. However, he is left traumatised due to his enforced separation with his parent.
The film uses handmade puppets and is part of the Families Together campaign to raise awareness of the plight of refugee children who are being prevented from being reunited with their family due to through immigration rules.
Viewers of the Youtube film are being urged to share it via social media and sign the campaign group’s online petition to the government to change its immigration rules.
While many countries in Europe support refugee family reunions, the UK’s immigration rules deny children the chance to be reunited with family members who are still overseas.
“This tragic depiction of a young boy torn from his mother’s arms and forced to flee on his own was deliberately not based on a specific child, location, time or situation,” said Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council.
“That’s because this devastating story is all too common and this unnamed boy could be any one of the young teenagers we see in our services every day.
“These are children whose early years have been blighted by conflict and go on to face a fresh battle once in the UK. Though physically safe as recognised refugees, their permanent separation from family is a constant agony. UK rules forbid all young refugees from being reunited with any relatives, condemning them to an uncertain and lonely future, with little hope of ever living with their family again.
Without my mum Director Catherine Prowse said: “I think we are all familiar with news stories about refugee families being forcibly separated in other countries, but I didn’t have much of a concept of refugee children growing up in this country without their families.
“By following the story of the little boy I hope viewers will understand that having to flee your home is something that could potentially happen to anyone, that refugees are not statistics, they’re individuals just like us, with the same hopes and fears and relationships we have.”