Report calls for 'fundamental change' in treatment of child asylum seekers who arrive in Britain alone
Allowing them to complete their education after they turn 18 would bring immigration law in line with legislation for British children leaving care
Emily Dugan is Social Affairs Editor for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards. Emily is on sabbatical until March 2015
Social Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 09 April 2014
Unaccompanied child asylum seekers who are currently ordered to leave Britain when they turn 18 should be allowed to complete their education first, the Children’s Commissioner for England says.
A report published today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner calls for a “fundamental change” to the way children are treated in the asylum system.
The disruption to the lives and education of those children whose immigration status means they are made to leave at 18, is particularly highlighted. The findings come after the furore over A-level student Yashika Bageerathi, who was sent back to Mauritius before she completed her studies because she had passed her 18th birthday.
Instead of being automatically deported at 18, young people who come to Britain alone and claim asylum should be supported until they finish their studies, Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England argues. This would bring immigration law in line with legislation for British children leaving care.
Ms Atkinson said: “None of us at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner believe in open or unguarded borders. But these are children when they arrive here, often traumatised and in the cases of these we worked with for this study, unaccompanied and unsupported.
She added: “It makes sense to ensure young people required to leave the UK have the best chance of integrating into and becoming active members of their future communities. Allowing them to complete their education in the UK provides the best chance for a sustainable return.”
Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “This report shines a much needed spotlight on the fact that the government is failing to protect young asylum seekers, who fled their countries alone as children, from abuse and exploitation.
“By denying them support after they turn 18, the Government is forcing many of these young people into destitution. Many are being left homeless, without money, food or access to medical care. This is unacceptable and puts their health and well-being at risk.”
A Home Office spokeswoman did not respond to questions from The Independent.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Isis video purports to show beheadings and execution at gunpoint of 30 Ethiopian Christians and destruction of churches in Libya
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...