Commission calls on Government to protect unaccompanied migrant children

Published: 02 Aug 2016

Commenting on the House of Lords Report  Children in crisis: unaccompanied migrant children in the EU, EHRC Commissioner Lorna McGregor said:

The findings of this report are deeply concerning; it is conservatively estimated that 10,000 unaccompanied children are currently unaccounted for in the EU, while many other vulnerable children have suffered sexual exploitation, depression, post-traumatic stress, which is exacerbated by a culture of disbelief and suspicion in the UK immigration system.

Children continue to be inaccurately assessed as adults and held in adult detention centres, while the recently announced closure of the Cedars pre-departure centre represents a UK Government U-turn on its commitment to end the immigration detention of children.

It is imperative that we do not ignore the plight of unaccompanied migrant children, and we call on the UK Government to fulfil its commitment to accept 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children. We also support the recommendation for all separated children to have access to an independent guardian to ensure their rights are protected.

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