The British Youth Council is alarmed by recent reports hundreds of child asylum-seekers have gone missing from the Home Office’s duty of care. Reports state approximately 200 asylum-seeking children have been reported missing from the government’s hotels.
The children’s charity is always concerned to hear of cases where children go missing but, in this instance, it is all the more troubling given that, by the government’s own admission, the Home Office has failed to safeguard these vulnerable groups of young people who now find themselves in the hands of those who trafficked them into the UK in the first place.
Speaking on behalf of the UK Young Ambassadors, Maurizio Cuttin, UK Young Ambassador to the European Youth Forum, said: “Recent news surrounding the disappearance of a reported 200 asylum-seeking children underlines yet another failure by the Home Office to ensure that children in their custody are safeguarded.
“This is a failure of care and amounts to yet another troubling development in the government’s efforts to demonise, retain and deport vulnerable groups of people.”
Having previously pressured the government to abide by its international legal commitments and scrap its immoral Rwanda deportation policy, recent revelations are a cause for great concern for all of us at the British Youth Council. Having led the charity’s opposition to the government’s Rwanda deportation policy, the UK Young Ambassadors are monitoring this situation closely.
As a firm defender of young people’s rights, especially minorities such as young asylum seekers, the British Youth Council hopes to see this matter resolved quickly and safely. In addition to this, we call for an independent investigation to probe the circumstances under which this incident was able to take place, and to clarify what steps can be taken to ensure that this vulnerable group of young people is given appropriate provisional support.
We would also like to reiterate, as several other charities have already done, that asylum seekers have a legal right to remain in the UK, and any attempts to constrain these rights are unjust and inhumane. Following the rescue of these children, we ask that the government reconsiders its current position on asylum and works to implement a policy that safely welcomes refugees as opposed to demonising and threatening to deport them to Rwanda.