3 Feb 2016

In response to the House of Lords debate on the Immigration Bill, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'The Government is required to protect all children who are in the UK, regardless of where they come from. Yet discriminatory measures in the Immigration Bill will deny some of the most vulnerable migrant children in this country the essential support and protection they desperately need. 

'Shockingly, young people whose immigration claims have been rejected will also lose the right to appeal their claims in the UK. As a result they could be sent to countries where they have no links and may be in danger.

'Additional measures will block many migrant care leavers from vital services such as counselling, education and training. They may be forced out of their foster families or other accommodation and into inappropriate adult accommodation. These changes will further marginalise young people whose lives are already precarious, cutting them off from the help and opportunities available to their British counterparts.

'The impact on these young people – including those who have fled war and violence or been victims of trafficking – will be devastating if the Immigration Bill goes ahead in its current form. It is vital that peers act now to amend the bill and make sure that the Government puts children’s rights and welfare first.'

Ends


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Notes to editors: 

  • The Children’s Society has helped change children’s stories for over a century. We expose injustice and address hard truths, tackling child poverty and neglect head-on. We fight for change based on the experiences of every child we work with and the solid evidence we gather. Through our campaigning, commitment and care, we are determined to give every child in this country the greatest possible chance in life.