In response to the planned return of unaccompanied children seeking asylum to Afghanistan, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“The new government has got off to a good start by promising to end the detention of children. Plans drawn up by the previous government to start removing unaccompanied children to countries which are still far from safe show scant attention to their best interests. Reviewing these plans would similarly demonstrate a commitment to the welfare of children who seek asylum in Britain and we urge the government to do so urgently.
“There has been little said about how these children would be kept safe. It really begs the question: if they have no family to whom they can be returned safely, should they be returned at all?
“There are serious questions to be raised about the quality of decision-making on the cases of unaccompanied children. The money would be better spent improving the way that children’s claims are assessed, so that we can be sure we never put them in danger.”