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  Children seeking asylum fight to stay in Britain
Updated 22 April 2002, 13.38
Asylum seekers
Children who've fled to Britain to escape war and poverty have told Newsround they're desperate to stay.

Last year, more than 3,000 children arrived in Britain to start new lives.

But these "asylum seekers" have to pass strict tests to prove they were being treated unfairly at home.

Many of them don't pass them - and are sent back where they came from.

Leyla from Iraq

Leyla fled Iraq over the mountains
Leyla, 10, told Monday's Newsround Extra about her story.

She lived in Iraq. She's a Kurd - a group of people who are treated very badly by the Iraqi government.

But 18 months ago she was told her dad was about to be killed by the government - and her family fled.

She says: "They hit my dad two times. I didn't like leaving my friends - they were very good to me.

"I don't know what they're doing now."

  Click here to read Leyla's story

She had a terrifying 3,000 mile journey to Britain, which involved walking over mountains, avoiding landmines and escaping from the police.

She's now going to school in Britain - but doesn't know if she'll be allowed to stay.

Eric from Africa

Eric, 16, is from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa
Eric, 16, is from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, and has a similar story.

  Click here for Eric's story

His father disagreed with the government, and was shot dead in front of Eric - forcing Eric to flee.

He is also waiting to find out if he can stay.

Life for asylum seekers

Even once they're here, life doesn't always get much easier for people like Layla and Eric.

Many people feel scared or suspicious of asylum seekers.

Others think they are scroungers, taking British jobs and money.

Either way, they can face hatred, racism - and a tougher life than many of us would expect in Britain.

You can see more about Eric and Leyla's stories in Newsround Extra on Monday 22 April, 5.25pm, BBC One

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More InfoBORDER=0
World'I came to Britain on a false passport'
World'We walked from Kurdistan to Turkey'
Find OutFind out about asylum seekers


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Asylum seekers escape during blaze
Big rise in child asylum seekers
Hundreds killed in boat tragedy
Asylum-seeker children 'threaten suicide'



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