After news broke out that, dozens of kids have vanished from their camping sites, the UK Home Office has been chastised for “dereliction of duty.” An informant further exposed that, some of the children have been taken in by unknown people while on the streets.
More than 150 kids who had been housed in hotels remained unaccounted for as of June 11. The government has been cautioned that, many of these children are at risk of being taken advantage of, by criminal groups.
However government Ministers declined to disclose the age of the youngest kid housed at a hotel, though the Home Office acknowledged that, a nine-year-old had been left unattended, due to a lack of local authorities’ ability to house him or her.
On the other hand, Ministers have conceded that, the administration has been poor in providing accurate numbers for the age of young children that it has temporarily housed in hotel.
The administration has come under an extensive scrutiny by the opposition, due its poor management of data for single minors who are applying for asylum.
Liberal Democrat’s peer Paul Scriven bemoaned the abysmal performance of the government in keeping records, as he based his argument on answers that were submitted to him, when he submitted his questions to parliament.
Also, Scriven inquired about the number of single minors seeking asylum that have been housed at the Home Office’s transitional lodging over the past 18 months.
“This is a national scandal and beneath us as a country. The Home Office’s careless practice in asylum seeker hotels is totally unacceptable and unlawful, too, as the courts have now confirmed.
It’s shameful that the Conservatives are falling so far short of their legal obligations and that they’ve let the backlog balloon so much that hotel accommodation is required in the first place. The Home Office has got to do better.”Lord Scriven, Liberal Democrat Peer.
Scriven further questioned about the youngest unaccompanied asylum seeker, the age of the child and the period of time the youngster has stayed in the UK.
The Home Office replied that, “The data requested cannot be provided as it comes from live operational databases that have not been quality assured.”
Fizza Qureshi, the Chief Executive of the Migrants’ Rights Network, said, it is ridiculous that, the Home office does not have cogent database for these children.
“The fact that the Home Office does not have data on the ages of these children or how many are housed in temporary hotels is concerning.”Fizza Qureshi, Chief Executive of Migrants’ Rights Network.
Qureshi also said, this amounts to “a total disregard” for the security of unaccompanied kids who have applied for asylum, due to the Home Office’s poor management of records.
“This raises questions about how the Home Office and local authorities are able to provide adequate safeguarding and care for those it should be protecting. Furthermore, it also calls into question how they know if and where children are going missing from Home Office accommodation, like in Brighton and Hove earlier this year.”
“They should be seen as children first and foremost, and not through the lens of their immigration status. We believe that everyone seeking safety should have access to essential services, a welcoming community and a safe home, especially children.”Fizza Qureshi, Chief Executive of Migrants’ Rights Network.
According to the verdict of Justice Chamberlain, the ability to house kids in hotels, must be “used on very short periods in true emergency situations,” which means, it is illegal for the government to consistently do so.
“It cannot be used systematically or routinely in circumstances where it is intended, or functions in practice, as a substitute for local authority care.”Mr. Justice Chamberlain.
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