Channel migrants: 116 children missing from UK hotels

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, by the RNLI Image source, PA Media

By Sima Kotecha

UK Editor, BBC Newsnight

More than 100 unaccompanied kid migrants stay missing out on after vanishing from UK hotels over a 14- month duration, information exposes.

BBC News has actually found that 116 kids vanished in between July 2021 and August 2022, after momentarily being put in hotels by the Home Office.

Charities fear the kids, some as young as 11, danger being made use of.

The Home Office stated it had “no option” however to utilize hotels while long-lasting lodging was discovered.

The federal government has actually been positioning kids who get here in the UK in authorized hotels given that July in 2015, after regional councils stated there was insufficient capability to house them in ideal lodging.

Some 1,606 kids who got here alone in between July 2021 and June 2022 were put in hotel lodging by the Home Office, according to its own figures.

BBC Two’s Newsnight found that 181 kids – aged 18 or less – consequently went missing out on in the 14- month duration covered by the information, which was launched by the Home Office following Freedom of Information demands. 65 were later on discovered.

The charity ECPAT UK stated the variety of missing out on kids was “stunning” and contacted the federal government to stop positioning them in hotels.

” They might be working away in a marijuana farm, in a factory, domestic yoke. There’s an entire variety of exploitative circumstances that these youths might be in,” stated its president, Patricia Durr. “They might be being criminally made use of or sexually made use of behind closed doors.”

Rishan Tsegay, who showed up in the UK from Sudan on the back of a lorry aged 17 and has actually considering that been given asylum, states she fears a few of those missing out on kids might wind up in the hands of the traffickers who brought them into the nation.

” They [traffickers] like to control youths and make them do things when they get here. I would not question that. This is absolutely nothing brand-new,” she stated.

” They may state if you go to this location you need to pay us back, otherwise I will eliminate your mum, or your household. How are you going to react?” she included.

The Home Office stated it was seeing an “extraordinary increase in unsafe Channel crossings”.

It stated: “On average, unaccompanied kids looking for asylum are transferred to long-lasting care within 15 days of showing up in a hotel, however we understand more requires to be done.

” That is why we are working carefully with regional authorities to increase the variety of positionings offered and deal councils ₤ 6,000 for each kid they can offer lodging for.

” Any kid going missing out on is very severe, and we work all the time with the authorities and regional authorities to urgently find them and guarantee they are safe.”

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, states it is “working relentlessly to discover ideal positionings for unaccompanied kids, with 597 positionings made in the previous 6 months”.

While it stated positionings were increasing, it likewise got in touch with the Home Office to stop utilizing hotels. “Councils have actually revealed issues to the federal government around the effect on kids, consisting of the threats around kids going missing out on,” it included.

In July, the Home Affairs Select Committee reported that the disappearance of apart migrant kids from hotels was “exceptionally worrying”.

It stated the federal government should “right away and plainly validate where duty lies for every single element of securing kids housed in lodging”.


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