13 Sep 2012

Our statement on the Joint Committee on Human Rights' inquiry into unaccompanied migrant children and young people in the UK

Ilona Pinter, Policy Adviser for Refugees and Migrants said:

'This inquiry is a welcome and important move. It is vital that all children and young people who are in the UK on their own are given the support and protection they need. Too often we come across children who’ve been let down by the very agencies that should be there to protect them. They are treated with suspicion, confused by the immigration process, and denied the help they need to make them safe and secure. 

'Failures within the system are leaving thousands of these vulnerable young people inappropriately housed, without anyone looking out for their best interests and with no future to look forward to. 

'Many of these children are fleeing war and violence, and some have experienced serious abuse and exploitation. But because our system is set up to refuse them, we end up sending them back into danger when they turn 18 or leave them in limbo on our streets.'


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Notes to editors

  • The parliamentary inquiry runs until Friday 26 October.
  • 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.