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Report finds unaccompanied minors are failed by UK migration and asylum processes

26 October 2015

Jo Wilding

Report co-authored by Jo Wilding, CROME Research Fellow and member of Garden Court Chambers’ Immigration Team, for the University of Brighton explores unaccompanied minors’ rights through the lens of migration and asylum processes.

The research project, which aims to identify and recommend better procedures and protection measures for unaccompanied minors, was carried out in four European Countries (Slovenia, Austria, France and the United Kingdom) between June 2014 and December 2015. The report focuses on the best interests principle in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and highlights areas in which the UK fails to assess, determine or act in the best interests of unaccompanied minors.

The report includes recommendations relating to the uneven distribution of unaccompanied children in England, the asylum process, legal aid, family reunion, education and guardianship. Amongst other recommendations, the report advocates for a more robust safeguarding role for appropriate adults and suggests that humanitarian protection is an “underused and often appropriate form of protection” for minors, and should be used more often. Legal aid cuts are also highlighted as a problem for minors’ rights: “The creation of rights on paper has been consistently counteracted by cuts to legal aid, social care and education funding.”

To find out the findings and recommendations, read the full report.

Jo Wilding is a member of Garden Court Chambers’ Immigration Team.

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