Refugees: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 22nd December 2016.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to ensure that any refugee children who were recently accommodated at Calais and who were entitled to come to the UK have not been trafficked, become domestic slaves or forced into prostitution.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill The Minister for Immigration

We continue to work closely with local authorities, the Department for Education, the Local Government Association, non-governmental organisations, and other Government departments to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children transferred from France to the UK. The Government recently announced its intention to publish a Safeguarding Strategy which will bring together a number of strands of ongoing work and develop a more holistic, robust and evidence-based strategy to supporting these vulnerable children.

Children transferred to the UK were assessed on arrival by Home Office officials who are trained to identify indicators of human trafficking and modern slavery. Under the Dublin Regulation, safeguarding checks are conducted ahead of the children being reunited with their relatives.

The Government takes its responsibilities towards all vulnerable children extremely seriously. That is why when a child goes missing from care, agencies work closely with local authorities and local police forces in order to find them.

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