Following the Supreme Court’s decision that the Government’s Rwanda policy is unlawful, the UK’s leading children’s charities have issued a joint statement.
“Following the Supreme Court’s ruling that plans to send people seeking asylum to Rwanda while their claims are being processed are unlawful, we call on the UK Government to reconsider their approach and ensure all children arriving in the UK are safe and protected. These plans would have posed a serious risk to children, particularly those who may have been wrongly assessed as being adults.
“We continue to be deeply concerned about the serious implications for the safety and protection of children under the Illegal Migration Act. Not only will the act make it legal to detain children for more than 24 hours, but it will deny children the chance to claim asylum in the UK.
“It will also prevent some child victims of trafficking from receiving vital protection and support, including those who have suffered trauma and exploitation.
“Children who arrive to the UK seeking asylum are frightened and highly vulnerable. They’ve often faced traumatic events, both in their home country and on their journey to the UK. We must ensure they’re kept safe and protected as all children deserve.
“In order to protect children, young people and families who are fleeing persecution and war, we urge the Government to review the provisions and implementation of the Illegal Migration Act and instead develop a strategic plan that protects and welcomes displaced children who have fled their homes to seek refuge in the UK.”
Paul Carberry, Chief Executive of Action for Children
Lynn Perry MBE, Chief Executive of Barnardo’s
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of National Children’s Bureau
Mark Russell, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society
Sir Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of NSPCC