Immigration: Children

Home Department written question – answered on 21st July 2010.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children accompanying nationals of EEA states were interviewed separately by officials of the UK Border Agency and its predecessors at ports of entry in each of the last five years.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Immigration

Records are not held on the number of children who were interviewed separately by officials of the UK Border Agency, where they were accompanied by nationals of EEA states, for each of the last five years. Such information could be obtained only by detailed examination of case records on the UK Border Agency Central Information Database (CID). This could be completed only at disproportionate cost to the agency.

Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 places a legal duty on border force officers to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and young people as part of their work.

In carrying out this Section 55 duty, border force officers will make enquiries when any child arrives in the UK unaccompanied, or with a person other than their parent, to ensure they are satisfied that suitable arrangements have been made for the child's reception and welfare in the UK.

There is no mandatory requirement for a European economic area/European Union national child to travel with a letter consenting to their travel, if not travelling with their parents.

Passengers holding EEA passports or identity cards are not subject to immigration control. However, they are required to satisfy a border force officer as to their nationality and identity.

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