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The Refugee Council has responded to a new report by the Children’s Commissioner titled ‘The Detention of Unaccompanied Children Arriving in Kent during 2020′, Feb. 2021. See here

The report reveals that one in six children were detained at Kent Intake Unit for longer than 24 hours- which is illegal under the Immigration Act 2014. One child was detained for 65 hours. The Commissioner has called for reform of the National Transfer Scheme and for expanded safe and legal routes to safety for children.

Enver Solomon, Chief Exec. of  the Refugee Council said:

“………..On arrival, it is not unusual for these children to present with physical injuries, hypothermia, dehydration and serious mental health needs. They should be treated with compassion, not subjected to prolonged detention while waiting to be taken into care. The welfare of the child must come first in every single case.

We fully support the Children’s Commissioner’s calls for expanded safe and legal routes to the UK for children, better monitoring of processes at the Kent Intake Unit, and immediate reform of the National Transfer Scheme.”