Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has urged the UK Government to take a compassionate approach to unaccompanied children seeking asylum.
This week, the SNP MP led a debate in Westminster Hall and highlighted how hundreds of unaccompanied children have been treated as adults upon arrival in the UK, denying them the rights and protections they are entitled to.
A specialist project run by the Refugee Council in 2021 worked with 233 young people over 12 months who had initially been determined by the Home Office as ‘certainly’ adult. Only 14 of them were adults.
The Home Office does not record how often children are judged incorrectly as adults, or what happens to them, so the true scale of the problem is unknown.
Commenting, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said:
“Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are being abandoned by the Home Office. Placed in hotels which are not only desperately unfit for the use of children, forced to live alongside adults, and further exposing them to potential harm.
“None of us can imagine the horrors that drive people to the perilous journeys across the Channel yet those horrors are experienced by innocent children.
“They are children, they should be treated as such and the harm and neglect they are facing after seeking refuge in the UK, can only be blamed upon this government and its heartless Home Office.
“Our duty must be to give them a warm welcome, a fresh start, and the protection and hope they so desperately need when they arrive to seek refuge in the UK.”
To view the full debate, visit: https://youtu.be/9TDpNQzmLWQ