Parliamentary inquiry into the scandal of ‘sent away’ children

By agency reporter
March 28, 2019

The Children’s Society has commented following the release of the Third Interim Report on Independent Child Trafficking Advocates.

The Children’s Society welcomes many of the recommendations made by parliamentarians in its interim report but is very disappointed that the panel has missed a key opportunity to call for vital protections for lone children. 

Ilona Pinter, Policy and Research Manager, The Children’s Society said: “The review has missed a crucial opportunity to protect an incredibly vulnerable cohort of young migrant people who are in this country on their own. The Children’s Society has been campaigning for the introduction of independent legal guardians who can support all separated young people, not just those who are suspected of being victims of modern slavery”. 

“Guardians already exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland and are sorely needed for lone migrant children in England and Wales as well. These young people have no one to help them navigate complex asylum processes, make sure they get into school quickly or get the mental health support they need to recover from war and abuse. Legal powers for guardians for all unaccompanied children were introduced through Modern Slavery legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, so it should be possible to do the same in England and Wales.”

“For children who have someone with parental responsibility and are affected by exploitation, including county lines, we welcome the panel’s recommendation to ensure that one-to-one support continues, based on assessments of their needs and risks to them. However we know, under the revised ICTA model the Home Office has already decided to stop this type of support. We would urge them to reinstate it urgently and ensure it is properly evaluated.”

“We are also encouraged to see the recommendations that call on removing the 18-month time limit of support and allow for young people to be supported as they transition to adulthood if needed.”

“All children, regardless of their nationality or immigration status, need our support to ensure they are not criminalised or left alone to navigate complex systems that ultimately leave them at higher risk of self-harm, long term mental health issues and even suicide.”

* Read the report from the APPG on Young Runaways and Missing Children and Adults here

* The Children's Society


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