Family of 16 Romanian refugees with children set up home under a London flyover
London, June 29: The family, which includes three five-year-old children, have made their home below the A406 North Circular in Barking, in the east of the capital.
The group, understood to be called the Florescus, came to the UK to find work two weeks ago but say they have been unsuccessful.
They now insist they want to return to Romania but cannot afford the cost of the 1,000-mile journey back to the eastern European country.
Maria Florescu, the only English speaker in the group, says the men have been unable to find jobs and the women are instead begging on the streets of London.
Mrs Florescu, 27, said: ‘We came here to work but it is very difficult because we have no home address here. Now we cannot afford ferry tickets back.
‘It’s really noisy sleeping here, we just want to go home and not come back. We are trying our best, but what can we do?’
A group which helps refugees and migrants is now working with the Home Office to help the family return to the continent.
Rita Chadha, chief executive of the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London, said settling in the UK is too complicated for many migrants.
She said: ‘Unless you know how the Home Office system already works, it can be very difficult to navigate.
‘It’s now become very, very difficult to access benefits for example if you’re a European migrant in the UK.’
Romania joined the EU in 2007 and restrictions were lifted on its citizens entering Britain in 2014.