Asylum: Afghanistan

Home Department written question – answered on 13th February 2013.

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Photo of Lisa Nandy Lisa Nandy Labour, Wigan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) what progress she has made under the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors on the establishment of (a) care centres and (b) reception centres for children in Afghanistan; where each detention centre is; who manages each such centre; whether an agreement has been signed to proceed with forced returns; and when any returns will begin;

(2) how many asylum-seeking children have been returned to reception centres in Kabul under the joint European Returns Platform for Unaccompanied Minors project to date.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper The Minister for Immigration

The Government are working with Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands in progressing the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors (ERPUM) project, whose aim is to establish arrangements in Afghanistan that make it possible to safely return a limited number of unaccompanied children, who have been refused asylum, to their families or to other suitable care arrangements.

The Government will ensure these care arrangements meet standards published by the UNHCR.

No care centres or reception facilities have yet been established for children returning to Afghanistan and there is no intention to place them in detention centres. No children have yet been returned. Decisions as to whether it is appropriate to return unaccompanied children are always made on a case by case basis, taking into account the child's best interests.

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