Concerns raised over potential Home Office asylum pilot scheme

    The Home Office is developing a pilot scheme to return
    unaccompanied minors whose asylum claims have failed to Albania,
    according to a leading figure working with asylum seeker children,
    writes Amy Taylor.

    Nancy Kelly, chair of the Refugee Children’s Consortium, –
    a group of charities including Barnardo’s and NCH – said that
    the government were also looking at running a pilot to trace family
    members of unaccompanied minors whose asylum claims have failed
    from Bangladesh.

    Kelly said that the consortium were not against unaccompanied
    minors being returned in principle, but that it would not support
    such a policy under the current system.

    “We are opposed to it in practice as the system currently
    stands because the system for assessing [asylum] claims is
    particularly poor in regards to unaccompanied children,” she
    said.

    Currently, the government grants leave to remain to
    unaccompanied minors whose asylum claims have failed until they are
    18, and then deports them.

    The Home Office would only confirm that they were looking at the
    possibility of returning unaccompanied minors whose asylum claims
    have failed.

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