MPs want assurance child asylum seekers will not be taken into care

MPs called on the government to give assurances that measures
included in the new asylum bill will not lead to significant
numbers of children being taken into care, writes Clare

While the home affairs select committee backs the principle
behind Clause 7 in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of
Claimants etc) Bill, which denies support from families whose
asylum claims have failed, the group believe it is
“unsatisfactory” that home office minister Beverley
Hughes was unable to estimate how many families it might

The report into the bill, which received its second reading this
week, says the priority “should be to improve the removal
system” so that failed claims lead to removal. If brought
into effect, the government should report each year on the number
of children taken into care as a result.

The concerns were raised shortly after Ian Johnston, British
Association of Social Workers director, wrote to the home secretary
urging him to reconsider the proposal. Social workers protect the
rights and interests of children and would only separate them from
their parents if it was in their best interests and no other
options were available, he said.

The Home Office also announced that the express authority of the
immigration minister will now be required to detain any child for
longer than 28 days in centres such as Dungavel, Scotland This
follows calls from churches, MPs and charities for Dungavel, to be

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