.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Failing in their duty of care

The Guardian carries the astonishing (and appalling) news that a government minister has admitted that two hundred asylum-seeking children who were placed in hotels run by the Home Office have gone missing. They include one girl and at least 13 children under the age of 16:

The disclosure comes after the Observer reported that a whistleblower from a Home Office hotel in Brighton had claimed that some children had been abducted off the street outside the facility and bundled into cars.

The department was warned by police that the vulnerable occupants of the hotel – asylum-seeking children who had recently arrived in the UK, many on small boats, without parents or carers – would be targeted by criminal networks.

Answering a question from the Liberal Democrat peer Paul Scriven, Lord Murray disclosed the figures, which have been collated since July 2021. “The Home Office have no power to detain unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in these hotels and we do know that some of them go missing. Many of them that go missing are subsequently traced.”

He said 88% of the 200 children – 176 – were of Albanian origin, and he said the government hoped to phase out the use of hotels for children “as soon as we can”.

There are six Home Office hotels for unaccompanied asylum-seeker children, including the one in Brighton.

NGOs have repeatedly raised concerns over children going missing from accommodation and have offered to help the Home Office keep them safe, but the government has rejected these offers.

Philip Ishola, the chief executive of the anti-child trafficking organisation Love146, which has been warning of the risk of placing unaccompanied children in hotels since the Home Office started using them, said the Home Office rejected an offer from a group of organisations to assess a hotel in Brighton.

“This is more than a year ago and it was obvious then that there were serious concerns about the safety of young people in these hotels. Since then, the Home Office has been warned, repeatedly, that children are going missing, potentially to be trafficked and exploited, yet these concerns have been ignored,” he said.

This is a terrible failure of their duty of care by the UK Government and one that, if it were repeated by a local council, would see that authority put into special measures. Everything possible must be done to try and find these children, while existing arrangement must be overhauled.
The whole country has to be overhauled away from Conservative ideology and 'owneership',
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?