To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many unaccompanied child asylum seekers under 16 years of age are currently being held in detention centres; and, of those, how many have been detained for periods of (1) less than six months, (2) six to 12 months, and (3) more than 12 months.
The United Kingdom ended the routine detention of children under the age of 18 years in immigration removal centres in 2010. However, unaccompanied children under the age of 18 may still be detained in limited, very exceptional circumstances, including at the border pending collection by parents or other relatives, or by local authority Children’s Services. Under paragraph 18B of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971 an unaccompanied child detained for the purpose of removal may not be detained for more than 24 hours and may not be held in an immigration removal centre.
Published Home Office data, including age, on individuals entering, leaving or in detention, solely under Immigration Act powers, at immigration removal centres, short-term holding facilities and pre-departure accommodation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/546763/detention-q2-2016-tabs.ods . The most recent published statistics (Table Dt 13 q) shows that, as at the end of quarter 2 of 2016, there were no children in immigration detention.