Chief Executive responds to report on unaccompanied children

Last updated May 21, 2012Press release

In response to the Refugee Council’s report, Not a Minor Offence, Refugee Action’s Chief Executive Dave Garratt said:

“The findings are a timely reminder that the detention of children as part of the asylum process is unacceptable, and has to stop.

A fair asylum process in the UK has to be one that treats asylum-seeking children as children first, and their immigration status second.

We share the concerns raised in the report and call for an end of detention of children for immigration purposes.

It is essential that the age assessment of young asylum seekers under the age of eighteen should be made by an independent body of medical experts and trained social workers, and that all safeguards are in place to ensure a fair process. This is so that young asylum seekers who are minors are correctly assessed as such, and not subject to inhumane detention.

Refugee Action will continue to work with the UKBA and our partners to ensure that the asylum system prioritises child welfare, and treats unaccompanied minors with the dignity they deserve”.

ENDS

For more information please contact Antony Watson, Press and PR Officer at Refugee Action, on 0207 952 1530 or email: antonyw@refugee-action.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

  • Refugee Action is an independent, national charity working to enable refugees to build new lives. We provide practical advice and assistance for newly arrived asylum seekers and long-term commitment to their settlement through community development work, and received 30,000 visits from asylum seekers last year. As one of the country’s leading agencies in the field, Refugee Action has 30 year’ experience in pioneering innovative work in partnership with refugees. For more information, please visit www.refugee-action.org.uk