A child alone in a foreign country having fled their home is
surely in one of the most vulnerable situations of all. But at
least if they are placed in care in this country we can be
reassured they are safe.
But now we learn that the government has no grasp of how many
unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are missing from care. It has
become clear that figures from Whitehall are a gross understatement
of the actual number, with just two local authorities reporting
numbers higher than the national total of 15 given by the
government last year.
To make matters worse we hear from one council that the chances
of finding such a child who goes missing from care are very slim.
So these children are now left to fend for themselves without any
Also, the UK’s only centre for trafficked children was
closed last year, leaving a this vulnerable group without any
We already know the UK’s record on maintaining the rights of
children does not meet United Nations standards. Here, it seems, is
a prime example of our failure to do so.