22 Aug 2019

Today is the first time the number of European nationals applying for settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme have been included in the UK’s quarterly immigration and asylum statistics release.  

This has meant of we have had more detail about applications, beyond nationality, outcome and UK area which include a breakdown by age categories.  

As co-chairs of the Refugee and Migrant Children Consortium (RMCC), The Children’s Society welcome the move, as it gives us an indication of how many children are applying and what outcomes they are getting. Between 28 August 2018 and 30 June 2019:  

  • 107,110 children under 16 applied to the EU settlement scheme   
  • 92,600 (86%) have had a conclusion to their application:  
  •  59,830 (65%) got Settled Status   
  • 32,580 (35%) got Pre-Settled Status  
  • 180 applications were withdrawn/void or were invalid  
  • 0 were refused  
  • This leaves 14,510 who are presumably waiting for their application to be concluded  

 

Ilona Pinter, Policy and Research manager at The Children’s Society and co-chair of the Refugee and Migrant Children’s Consortium, said:   

“We welcome the age breakdowns, but this is not the whole picture. Legally children are all under 18s, but 16 and 17-year-olds have been subsumed into the adult data. Some of the most vulnerable young people - those leaving care or are estranged from their families - often fall in this age bracket. Putting them with the adult population means we have no way of knowing whether these young people have applied for settled status. We want to see ages broken down further so under 18s and 18-25 year olds.   

“Additionally, only 12% of the applications to the EU Settlement Scheme have come from children aged under 16. But analysis from the Migration Observatory suggests that there were 700,000 EU children under 18 in the UK in 2018, meaning hundreds of thousands of children may still need to apply for settled status or secure British citizenship. If they do not, they risk being left without a lawful status in the UK which means being unable to access education, employment, healthcare, housing and other vital services.   

“At a time when there is so much uncertainty for young people, many of whom were born and have grown up in this country, it is vital the government seriously considers implementing a declaratory system to give automatic rights to all European nationals and supports them to secure their British citizenship where possible. This includes vulnerable children and young people so they do not fall into destitution and despair. We also need better data so all children and young people, including those in the state’s care, are able to secure their status or citizenship and continue to live in their homes.”  

 

ENDS  

 

Notes to editors  

·        Analysis provided to us by the Migration Observatory of the Annual Population Survey suggests that there were 700,000 EU children under 18 in the UK in 2018 which is about 21% of the overall EU population at that time - 700,000 children out of 3,360,000 total adults and children. Source: https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/children-under-the-age-of-18-by-nationality-2018/).  

·        About the Refugee and Migrant Children’s Consortium (RMCC) is a coalition bringing together over 50 organisations from across the UK working collaboratively to promote the rights and welfare for refugee and migrant children and young people. It is currently co-chaired by The Children’s Society and Coram Children’s Legal Centre. To find out more visit: http://refugeechildrensconsortium.org.uk/ or follow us on twitter: @RCCUK  

·        About The Children’s Society The Children’s Society is a national charity that works with the most vulnerable children and young people in Britain today. We listen. We support. We act. Because no child should feel alone. To find out more visit: https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk