January 30, 2023

Hundreds of child asylum seekers have gone missing in UK, government admits

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CNN

Hundreds of children Asylum Seekers British immigration minister Robert Jenrick told lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday amid calls for an investigation into the matter that since the British government began housing minors in hotels amid tensions over the country’s asylum system. have disappeared from

About 200 children have gone missing since July 2021, Jenrick said on Tuesday. “Of the 4,600 unaccompanied children staying in hotels since July 2021, 440 have gone missing and 200 children are still missing,” he said.

According to official figures, of the 200 missing children, about 13 are below 16 years of age and one is a girl. The majority of the missing, 88%, are Albanian nationals, and the remaining 12% are from Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Vietnam, Pakistan and Turkey.

Generic blamed the problem on an increase in migrant boats crossing the English Channel to the UK, leaving the government with “no alternative” but to use “specialist hotels” to house minors until July 2021. save

Although the contracted use of hotels was envisioned as a temporary solution, by October more than 200 rooms had been reserved for child migrants, according to a report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, released today. Four works were also in progress.

British charities and migrant rights groups have long complained about the poor conditions of the country’s overburdened and underfunded asylum system.

The number of asylum claims in the UK has fallen in recent years, leaving people stranded for months and years – stuck in processing facilities or temporary hotels and unable to work – and Undebatable debate About the borders of Great Britain

Missing migrant children were first reported in the British media on Saturday, when The Observer newspaper reported that “dozens” of asylum-seeking children had been taken from a hotel run by the UK Home Office in Brighton, southern England. Kidnapped by “gangs”.

Since then, the opposition Labor Party, the human rights organization Refugee Council, as well as local authorities have called for an immediate investigation into the matter, demanding immediate action.

The Home Office has dismissed the reports as false and in a statement to CNN a Home Office spokesperson said: “The welfare of children in our care is an absolute priority.”

The spokesperson added that they had “robust safeguards in place” and that “when a child goes missing, local authorities work closely with agencies including the police to locate them immediately. ”

While the British government does not have the power to detain unaccompanied minors, who are free to leave hotels, Jenrick defended the UK Home Office’s security practices, saying that children leaving and returning from hotels records are kept and monitored and that aid workers are working. Hand out with children on activities and social outings.

“Many people who have gone missing have been tracked down and found,” Jenrick told parliament.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, from the opposition Labor Party, blamed human traffickers in her response in Parliament, saying “children are literally being picked up from outside the building, disappeared and “They are not being traced. They are being taken from the streets by traffickers.”

Cooper said “immediate and serious action” was needed to crack down on gangs to keep children and young people safe.

“We know from Greater Manchester Police, they have warned that hotels of refuge and children’s homes are being targeted by organized criminals. And in this case, there is a pattern of gangs knowing where to get children. to bring, often because they smuggled them in the first place.” “A criminal network is involved. The government is completely failing to stop them.

On Monday, the UK charity Refugee Action said it was “regrettable that children who have come to this country to seek safety are being harmed. The ultimate responsibility lies with the Home Secretary, and her The decision to run the political asylum system is based not on sympathy but on hostility.

UK charity The Refugee Council tweeted that it was “deeply concerned at the practice of keeping separated children in Home Office accommodation in defiance of legal provisions, with more than 200 of them going missing, putting them at risk.” There is danger.”



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