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Charities write to PM urging action on over 200 ‘missing’ child refugees

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Aiding charities have called for an independent inquiry into how more than 200 asylum-seeking children have “disappeared” from Home Office hotels, describing the situation as a “child protection scandal”.

In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, signed by more than 100 organisations, the charity warned that children – many of whom were living in southern seaside towns – were at risk of exploitation.

Their letter urges them to end the practice of housing young refugees who have been separated from their families in Home Office hotels, and instead place them with specialist local authority teams who can protect them Huh.

This is a child protection scandal that must be addressed urgently by councils, police and ministers to ensure every single child makes a case and remains safe.

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Coordinated by ECPAT UK and the Refugee Council, the open letter is signed by charities including the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Action for Children, Coram, The Children’s Society and the National Children’s Bureau.

The letter condemns the government’s “perceived failures to protect vulnerable children from harm”, and highlights that housing young refugees in hotels was only intended to be used as a short-term emergency option.

The letter stated: “There is no legal basis for placing children in Home Office hotel accommodation, and almost two years into the operation of the scheme – which is both illegal and harmful – it is no longer possible to justify the use of hotels as ‘temporary’ ‘.

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“This is a significant departure from the Children’s Act 1989 and established standards.”

We need an urgent commitment to end this practice immediately and to ensure that separated children receive the same care and protection as all other children within our legal and well-established child welfare framework.

Dan adds that the Home Office has “repeatedly failed” to stick to the deadline for the scheme.

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Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, described the loss of dozens of refugees as a “child protection scandal”.

He said: “We know from our work that children who have experienced the unimaginable terror and upheaval coming to our country in search of safety are highly traumatized and vulnerable.

“The government has a very clear legal duty to protect them, but failing to do so, is tantamount to many classes of children seemingly disappearing into the clutches of those who would exploit and abuse them.” .

Instead of setting out separate provisions, the government should provide local authorities with adequate funds to properly fulfill their legal duties towards children

“This is a child protection scandal that must be addressed urgently by councils, police and ministers to ensure every single child matters and remains safe.”

Patricia Durr, chief executive of ECPAT UK, called for “an urgent commitment to end this practice immediately”.

She said: “Despite evidence of risk and numerous representations, the government has ignored warnings and yet remains committed to an exit strategy, applying this discriminatory approach to some of the most vulnerable children in greatest need of protection likes.” and care.

“We need an urgent commitment to end this practice immediately and to ensure that separated children are cared for and protected in the same way as all other children within our legal and well-established child welfare framework.

Murray of Blidworth “>

“Rather than setting out separate provisions, the government should provide local authorities with adequate funding to enable them to properly fulfill their legal duties to children.”

Conservative frontbencher Lord Murray of Blidworth confirmed on Tuesday that up to 200 unaccompanied asylum-seeker children are missing since being placed in hotels from early July 2021.

He noted that 88% (176) were Albanian citizens.

(tagsto be translated) Rishi Sunak

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