In January this year, along with 100 other refugee and children’s charities, we wrote to the Prime Minister to express our deep concerns about asylum-seeking separated children going missing from Home Office hotels. Our open letter was also sent to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Secretary of State for Education, and the Minister for Immigration.
The practice of housing separated children in hotels places some of the most vulnerable individuals at greater risk of harm and abuse. Separated children’s basic needs cannot be met in such an environment and they are unable to access statutory care and protection.
A refugee child should be afforded the same rights and protections as any other child.
Once again we ask the Home Office to develop a viable and sustainable exit strategy to end the use of hotels and increase local authorities’ funding to improve their capacity to accommodate and safeguard all children in care.
The Separated Child Foundation
5 July 2023