another backtrack

Home Office defends plans to send back child asylum Seekers

The Home Office is to start the forcible removal of lone child asylum seekers, despite fears that many will be sent back to war zones where their safety and welfare cannot be guaranteed.

The Home Office insisted yesterday that unaccompanied children under 18 would only be sent back to "safe environments", but ministers believe that "it cannot be right that individuals should be allowed to remain in Britain" after refusing help and assistance to go home voluntary

 This will end the situation where they go into three or four years of limbo and are then sent home when they reach the age of 18," said a Border and Immigration Agency spokesman.

The Refugee Council said it would oppose the new plans: "The government should not try to force any child to return against their wishes where their safety and welfare cannot be guaranteed," said Donna Covey, the chief executive.

 "Any way forward has to reflect the experiences of these children; some are trafficked, some have been politically active, some have been victims of violence, including torture and sexual violence. These are not children who come here seeking a better life, with their families waiting for them in peaceful homes.

So there you go It has taken Jacqui Smith (Home Secretary) just less than a week to back track on her written ministerial statement on 31st Jan 2008

"Planning Better Outcomes and Support for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children". We have considered carefully the responses to this document and taken account of the clear consensus that central Government and local authorities need to work together to improve the way in which these children are referred to, cared for and supported by local authorities.

Putting in place better procedures for identifying and supporting asylum seeking children who are the victims of trafficking paying particular attention to those who are at risk of going missing or at risk of further harm or exploitation. We will ensure that proposals around reform are developed in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings.

and their was me thinking Gordon Browns promise to help stop child trafficking meant just that helping. He obviously meant he will stop it encroaching on his little kingdom.
You can read Jacqui Smiths full ministerial statement here


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