Refugee Council supports report from the Children's Commissioner - Refugee Council
March 3, 2008

Refugee Council supports report from the Children’s Commissioner

The Children’s Commissioner Professor Sir Al Aynsley Green today released a report into the treatment of unaccompanied children seeking asylum at the Border and Immigration Agency Screening Unit in Croydon. The report was severely critical of the way children were dealt with, and made a series of detailed recommendations.

In response to the publication of a report by the Children’s Commissioner into the treatment of unaccompanied children at the asylum screening unit in Croydon, Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:

“This is a welcome and powerful report highlighting many of the difficulties faced by children when they arrive in the UK and we support its recommendations.

“Every week our staff attend the Croydon screening unit with young people who are confused and distressed by their experience there. Children wait for hours, undergoing long interviews on top of fingerprinting and being photographed—and if their age is not believed they have to go through another interview. Often they have no access to food and water, or explanations in their own language of what is happening.

“These young people have often faced terrible journeys from war-torn countries. They are tired, hungry and upset and trying to deal with this new situation, separated from everyone and everything they have known. We urge the Government to implement the recommendations of this report to help avoid children’s experiences of arriving in the UK adding to the trauma they have already endured.”