Asylum families 'untraced'

Border officials failed to trace the families of 60% of asylum-seeking children who arrived alone in the UK, an inspection has found. The Home Office has a legal obligation to try and find family members of unaccompanied children.

Home Office 'committed' to helping most vulnerable

A Home Office spokesman said it is "committed" to ensuring that the most vulnerable asylum seekers, such as unaccompanied children, "are treated fairly and sensitively".

We have accepted all nine of the Chief Inspector's recommendations and have already issued new interim guidance to caseworkers giving practical information on family tracing.

We have also amended the training course for all new case workers to ensure it includes updated guidance on family

Refugee Council: UK 'has a long way to go' on asylum

The Refugee Council said the UK "has a long way to go" after an inspection found border officials failed to trace the families of nearly two-thirds of asylum-seeking children who arrived in the country alone.

Policy officer Judith Dennis said:

While we welcome many of the findings of this report, it clearly shows that the UK has a long way to go before children in the asylum system have their claims properly assessed and have their welfare sufficiently safeguarded.

Children should be treated as children first, regardless of their immigration status.

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Children 'more likely to be granted asylum in Midlands'

An inspection found that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were less than half as likely to be granted asylum in London as in the Midlands.

According to the report:

  • In London only 15.3% of unaccompanied children were granted asylum
  • That compares to 37.5% in the Midlands

Asylum decisions for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children took an "unacceptably long" average of 141 days in the Midlands - double the 64 days taken in London, report author Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine said.

60% of asylum-seeking children's families 'untraced'

Border officials failed to trace the families of nearly two-thirds of asylum-seeking children who arrived alone in the UK, an inspection has found.

A border patrol officer checking a passport.
Border officials failed to trace the families of 60% of asylum-seeking children who arrived alone in the UK, the report states. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Home Office has a legal obligation to try and find family members of unaccompanied children - but the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine found this was not done in 60% of cases sampled.

Tracing may enable children to be reunited with their families, Mr Vine's report said, and may also help the Home Office decide whether to grant the child leave to remain if the asylum claim fails.