Asylum: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 16th July 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the need for safeguarding policies to support child asylum seekers erroneously placed in adult removal centres.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

The Government ended the routine detention of children in immigration removal centres in 2010. Individuals under the age of 18 are not detained for consideration of their asylum claim.

In cases where new information comes to light or concerns are raised, which indicate that a person who has been detained as an adult may be a child, we would seek to release them into the care of local authority children’s services at the earliest safe opportunity for an age assessment.

Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 and published guidance in the form of Detention Services Order (DSO) 19/2012 “Safeguarding Children Policy” and DSO 14/2012 “Care and Management of Age Dispute Cases” set out the legal duties and guidance for staff in the immigration removal estate. This ensures that the welfare of children and their safeguarding is at the forefront of every interaction and decision.

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