31 Oct 2013

Our response to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration's report 'An Inspection into the Handling of Asylum Applications Made by Unaccompanied Children'

Peter Grigg, Director of Policy and Campaigns at The Children’s Society, said:

'This report shines an important spotlight on how children seeking safety in the UK on their own are treated by the authorities. 

'We know from our work with these incredibly vulnerable children -- who have fled war, violence and torture -- that too often the authorities are failing to take their needs into account, leaving them feeling frightened and confused.

'Even though there are professionals who know what these children have faced, it is alarming that, in most cases, the Home Office is failing to contact them to find out information critical to making decisions that would keep them safe and give them the protection they deserve. 

'There needs to be a fundamental shift in attitude in how the authorities work with children fleeing danger who need our help. It is worrying that key regulations that exist to protect them are frequently being flouted. At every step these children must be seen as children in need of protection -- not as immigration statistics.'

Ends

Media enquiries

For more information, please contact Beth Herzfeld in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or 07775 812 357 or email beth.herzfeld@childrenssociety.org.uk  For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • See The Children’s Society’s Into the Unknown for more about how young asylum seekers feel about their treatment by the UK border authorities.
  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life. Someone who acts on their behalf and can help guide them through the extremely complex system. These children deserve to be kept safe so they can recover from the trauma they have suffered and rebuild their lives.