Policy on treatment of children in doubt

About 2,000 asylum seeker children are detained with their
families each year before they are deported, in contravention of

Research by Save the Children published this week also found that
more unaccompanied children are being detained on the assumption
that they are adults, yet they are subsequently found to be under

The government’s policy stipulates that unaccompanied children
should not be detained for longer than overnight where arrangements
need to be made for their care.

The Save the Children research goes on to raise child protection
concerns for age-disputed children who are detained with adults in
communal sleeping facilities. It adds that social services age
assessments are not routinely undertaken and even when they are the
Home Office does not always take them into account, contrary to

Many of the 32 children in the research were detained for more than
a month and in some cases for as long as nine months. “The
government says that detention affects a small number of children
for a short time. Our research shows that there is clearly not
true,” said Mike Aaronson, director general of Save the

The charity has called for formal age assessment procedures to
ensure that unaccompanied children are not detained and the
introduction of a statutory time limit of a maximum of seven days
to be placed on the detention of children.

  • No Place for a Child from: www.savethechildren.org.uk

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.