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Thousands of migrant children kept alone in UK hotels - News

Thousands of migrant children kept alone in UK hotels – News

Ministry of Home Affairs UK Effectively running “unregistered children’s homes”, a watchdog has warned of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children living in hotels after arriving in the country.

David Neill, chief inspector of borders and immigration, gave the British government until the end of the year to come up with a plan to stop hotels in Kent, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and Warwickshire from being used to house migrants.

“Management of Homes for Unregistered Children, Position taken by Ministry of Home Affairs a [posição] Employees and shareholders felt uncomfortable. This is clearly not where the Home Ministry wants or should operate.”

The government said 3,256 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children – known as UASCs – had arrived at hotels since early October last year. Provisional data suggests that nearly 900 of them are under the age of 16.

“The total number may be higher because the information provided does not include those who were placed in hotels before that time,” said Enver Salomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council.

In a statement, the chief inspector of Borders and Immigration said “these young people have no legal responsibility to the Home Office or the councils where the hotels are located”. Also, the document states that the government has been informed that the law has been violated for more than a year.

However, the Home Office said plans to end the use of hotels to house unaccompanied migrant children “will not be effective in the spring when admissions increase”.

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The children told inspectors they were happy and safe in the hotels, but most were “very anxious to start their education”.

Hotel staff told the inspectors that “the youth kept asking when they would be transferred from the hotel, which was a constant source of tension.”

The Refugee Council expressed concern at the findings and called for an immediate end to the use of hotels to house children.

The agency’s chief executive said the government had “clearly failed” to protect children and lacked an adequate long-term plan to improve its operations and the way it dealt with unaccompanied children.

“The Government must make every effort to ensure that all children are taken into the care of local authorities as a matter of urgency.”

The Home Office said: “We accept the recommendation and will continue to work closely with the Department for Education and local authorities to develop the capacity to avoid the current need for contingency accommodation as soon as possible.”

Additionally, it said the company is “committed to ensuring the safety of all youth inside hotels” and that all adults working directly with migrant children will be screened.

“The government has no choice but to urgently use makeshift hotels to provide a roof over the heads of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children arriving in the UK,” he said. “The wellbeing of the children in our care is our absolute priority. We know we need to do more and are determined to stop using hotels for them.”

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