The UK Border Agency continues to detain children for immigration purposes, a new report by the Refugee Council has revealed.
The report titled “Not a minor offence” accuses the coalition government of failing to keep its promise to end the detention of children for immigration purposes.
The report in fact reveals that there are still significant numbers of child refugees being locked up by the UK Border Agency in detention centres across the UK.
Refugee Council’s report focuses on children they are working with who have arrived in the UK on their own, but who are not believed to be the age they say they are by social workers or immigration officials.
The children are wrongly treated as adults in the asylum system, meaning they face being detained with other adults, and being removed to their own country, in breach of child protection laws.
The report shows that in the first three months of this year, six children were released from detention after being found to be children, while four cases are outstanding.
In 2011, 22 were released from detention after being found to be children while in 2010, 26 were released from detention after being found to be children.
The Refugee Council is renewing its call to the government to end the detention of children once and for all, by ensuring safeguards are put in place to prevent unaccompanied children from being detained.