Failed unaccompanied minors may be forcibly removed

The Home Office is considering forcibly removing unaccompanied
minors whose asylum claims have failed, Community Care has
learned, writes Amy Taylor.

A Home Office spokesperson said that no decisions have been
taken, but The Refugee Children’s Consortium, a group of
charities including NCH and The Children’s Society, said that
the government had been considering the plan for over a year and
planned to return unaccompanied minors to their country of origin
this year.

Alison Harvey, principal policy and practice manger at The
Children’s Society, said that the consortium were not against
unaccompanied minors being removed in principle but that it must be
based on the best interests of the child.

She added that decisions on whether to return children must be
taken by somebody independent of the government or the supporting
local authority.

“No one is saying never send an under 18-year-old back.
But we are saying you must do it properly and we are not in a
position to do that at the moment,” she said.

She said that currently the Home Office grants leave to remain
to unaccompanied minors whose asylum claims had failed until they
are 18 and then deports them.

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