Together with over 100 other charities from the refugee and children’s sectors, we have written to the Prime Minister to express our deep concerns about separated children seeking asylum going missing from Home Office hotels. The children are suspected of being exploited and are accommodated outside of the UK’s child welfare framework which applies to all children, regardless of their immigration status.
The open letter has also been sent to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Secretary of State for Education, and the Minister for Immigration.
The latest information provided by Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP on 24 January 2023 confirmed that 4,600 children have been accommodated in Home Office hotels since July 2021 with 440 missing episodes, and 200 children who have never been found.
We have requested the end to the practice of using hotels to house separated children immediately with a commitment to an end date after which these practices will not be revived, and an urgent independent inquiry given these significant matters of public concern following the reported failures to protect vulnerable children from harm.
The Separated Child Foundation
26 January 2023