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The Independent

Charities write to PM urging motion over 200 ‘lacking’ youngster refugees



Main charities have referred to as for an impartial inquiry into how greater than 200 asylum-seeking youngsters have gone “lacking” from Home Office lodges, describing the state of affairs as “a baby safety scandal”.

In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signed by greater than 100 organisations, the charities warned that the youngsters – a lot of whom had been residing in southern seaside cities – have been susceptible to exploitation.

Their letter urges him to finish the observe of housing younger refugees who’ve been separated from their households in Dwelling Workplace lodges, and as a substitute place them with specialist native authority groups who can defend them.



This can be a youngster safety scandal that councils, the police and ministers should urgently tackle to make sure each single separated youngster issues and is stored secure

Enver Solomon, Refugee Council

Co-ordinated by ECPAT UK and the Refugee Council, the open letter has been signed by charities together with the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Motion for Youngsters, Coram, The Youngsters’s Society and Nationwide Youngsters’s Bureau.

The letter condemns the Authorities’s “reported failures to guard weak youngsters from hurt”, and highlights how housing younger refugees in lodges was supposed for use solely as a short-term emergency possibility.

The letter states: “There isn’t any authorized foundation for putting youngsters in Dwelling Workplace resort lodging, and nearly two years into the operation of the scheme – which is each illegal and dangerous – it’s now not attainable to justify using lodges as being ‘momentary’.

“It’s a important departure from the Youngsters Act 1989 and established requirements.”



We’d like an pressing dedication to finish this observe instantly and to make sure that separated youngsters are cared for and guarded as all different youngsters inside our authorized and well-established youngster welfare framework

Patricia Durr, ECPAT UK

The charities add that the Dwelling Workplace has “repeatedly failed” to decide to an finish date for the scheme.

Enver Solomon, chief govt of the Refugee Council, described the lack of dozens of refugees as “a baby safety scandal”.

He mentioned: “We all know from our work that youngsters who’ve skilled unimaginable horror and upheaval coming to our nation seeking security are extremely traumatised and weak.

“The Government has a really clear authorized obligation to guard them however is failing to take action with the equal of a number of lecture rooms of kids seemingly having disappeared into the clutches of those that will exploit and abuse them.



Moderately than establishing separate provision, the Authorities should present native authorities with enough funds to correctly fulfil their authorized duties to youngsters

Patricia Durr, ECPAT UK

“This can be a youngster safety scandal that councils, the police and ministers should urgently tackle to make sure each single separated youngster issues and is stored secure.”

Patricia Durr, chief govt of ECPAT UK, referred to as for “an pressing dedication to finish this observe instantly”.

She mentioned: “Regardless of proof of the dangers and quite a few representations, the Authorities has ignored the warnings and is but to decide to an exit technique, seeming to desire to entrench this discriminatory method to a number of the most weak youngsters with the best want of safety and care.

“We’d like an pressing dedication to finish this observe instantly and to make sure that separated youngsters are cared for and guarded as all different youngsters inside our authorized and well-established youngster welfare framework.

“Moderately than establishing separate provision, the Authorities should present native authorities with enough funds to correctly fulfil their authorized duties to youngsters.”

Conservative frontbencher Lord Murray of Blidworth confirmed on Tuesday that 200 unaccompanied asylum-seeking youngsters remained lacking after initially being accommodated in lodges since July 2021.

He mentioned that 88% (176) have been Albanian nationals.

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