The documentary follows the journey of several young refugees travelling alone through Europe. A lot of the footage was captured on their phones, showing first-hand the struggles they faced at the borders. Shadow Game has become a project, including a photo exhibition and even a game, to spread awareness about the conditions for young people on the move.
The screening of Shadow Game was a great success. There was even an opportunity for dialogue with the European politicians during a panel discussion. Each of the boys shared their stories and messages with the audience. The room was silent as the boys recounted their journeys through Europe, where they all experienced pushbacks which are increasingly violent. The panel ended with SK, who was pushed back in Bosnia several times, stating that the resolution to protect Ukrainian refugees is ‘beautiful’ and it shows that the support for children on the move is possible. Sajid Khan Nasiri (SK) was 15 years old when he fled Afghanistan and came to Europe looking for protection. He faced countless pushbacks at every European border. Now he just turned 18, lives in Belgium and is preparing for the final steps of his journey: into the European Parliament. He ended by asking the powerful question “why not all of us?”.
Marc Dullaert, Chairman of the Board of KidsRights and former chairman of the European Ombudsman for Children, joined the campaign with radio interviews on NPO Radio 1 and a dialogue with the European Parliament. To NPO Radio 1 he states that the question they are bringing to the European Parliament is “why do the fantastic protection provisions for Ukrainian refugee children not apply to other children on the move at the borders of Europe?”
EU Parliament will start the resolution for all the refugee children to bring equality for refugee children in the EU
Marc Dullaert, in response to Shadow Game, said: “I feel deeply ashamed as a European citizen and I feel deeply ashamed as a Dutch citizen. Addressing European politicians, he went on to say” from a children’s rights perspective, Europe is violating children’s rights, it’s as simple as that.” He ends by emphasising that “time is running out” and the European Commission should be held responsible for the discrimination occurring at the borders of Europe.
38.000 signatures to Protect Children on the Move
Together, they handed over a petition with more than 38.000 signatures on their manifesto “Protect children on the move”. The manifesto calls for a safe passage for children on the move through Europe, meaning no more violence at the borders and better support for unaccompanied minors.
Although the Shadow Game project is making great progress, there is still much more to be done. You can help by signing the petition here.
For more information about the Shadow Game project and to watch the documentary click here.