Tag Archives: The Children’s Society

New Report: Parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people

News from The Children’s Society and The Refugee Council:

Parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people

Link: The Children’s Society

Based on the parliamentary hearings and the submitted evidence received, the panel released its findings as:

Read the press release about the report’s shocking findings.

Recommendations and our campaign

As a result of the shocking findings this inquiry uncovered, as well as our research and years of work providing direct assistance to young asylum-seekers, refugees and their families, we began the End Forced Destitution campaign.

The campaign’s goal is for the government to adopt recommendations made in the inquiry’s report.

Get involved in our campaign.

Evidence

The inquiry collected written evidence on specific questions from a range of perspectives. They also conducted three oral evidence sessions.

Learn more about the:

See Also: The Refugee Council –

MPs’ report shows asylum support system fails children & young people

A damning parliamentary report published today has found that the asylum support system is failing to meet the needs of many children and families, and in a worrying number of cases, putting children in unsafe situations or ones that will be harmful to their heath.

The Refugee Council submitted written evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people, led by former children’s minister Sarah Teather MP, in December 2012. The inquiry panel comprised MPs from all three main parties, as well as a Bishop, a barrister and the Chief Executive of the Children’s Society, who supported the inquiry. The report, released today, contains evidence from many different organisations and individuals, including experts in the health and well-being of children and asylum seekers living on section 95 support (for people waiting for a decision on their claim) and section 4 support (for those who have been refused).

The full news story is available [here].

 

News: Children seeking safety in UK face damaging culture of doubt | The Children’s Society

*** Apologies for Cross Posting ***

Children seeking safety in UK face damaging culture of doubt

http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-views/press-release/children-seeking-safety-uk-face-damaging-culture-doubt

Children seeking safety in the UK on their own are subjected to a culture of disbelief and suspicion, which leaves them feeling frightened and confused, our new report reveals.

Into the Unknown: Children’s journeys through the asylum process found that, despite some recent improvements, many of the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) practices fail to take the needs of children fleeing war, turmoil and violence into account.

http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcs/into-the-unknown–childrens-journeys-through-the-asylum-process–the-childrens-society.pdf

The report highlights the Agency’s failure to make sure that children understand what is happening to them in the asylum process. The absence of child-friendly information, a wide-spread culture of disbelief and disputes over their age are central to increasing young people’s confusion and sense of insecurity.

This causes already traumatised children greater anxiety, with immediate and potentially long-term consequences for their well-being. Worryingly, there are no systems in place for the UKBA to measure the effect of the asylum system on children’s well-being.

‘Instead of getting the care and support they need, these children are considered with suspicion’

Many of the children The Children’s Society spoke to said that in their asylum interviews, there was no ‘responsible adult’ to act on their behalf or explain what was happening. In some cases, their interpreter did not speak the correct dialect or language, misrepresenting what they had said. This made them feel like their refusal of protection was unjustified.

The Children’s Society Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: ‘The amount of confusion and anxiety expressed by the children we spoke to in the asylum process is very concerning.

‘Although the UKBA has made some progress, there needs to be a fundamental shift in attitude in how they work with children fleeing danger who need our help. Instead of getting the care and support they need, these children are considered with suspicion. In some cases they feel like they are being tricked. Children need to understand what is happening to them and have some control over their situation.’

What we are calling for

The Children’s Society is calling for the UKBA to make its asylum process more child-friendly.

This includes providing specialist training for immigration interpreters who work with these children, establishing an independent complaint and feedback system to inform all stages of the immigration process that children can easily understand, and addressing the ‘culture of disbelief’ that prevents children from being treated fairly.