Less unaccompanied asylum-seeking children removed from UK

Number drops sharply; 35 removed in 2010 against 50 in 2008

23rd May 2011: Number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children removed from the UK has dropped sharply in the past couple of years.
Under the Dublin Regulation, the UK can remove asylum seekers to their first entry point into Europe, provided it is an EU member.

The practice has been adopted in the past to deport children to European Union countries. In fact, around 450 children were removed under the powers since 2004.

But data procured under the Freedom of Information Act by Children and Young People Now show the numbers have registered a significant dip. Rather, just five children were deported to their first point of entry in the EU in 2010 against with 35 in 2009 and 50 in 2008.

As a result of the fall in numbers, the government is now in the process of throwing a challenge to a ban on contentious "dawn raid" used for the removals of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

The raids had become a practise. In his earlier report, Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency John Vine said raids on asylum families facing exile at dawn had become the norm. There was also no evidence to substantiate these raids were considered necessary.

Vine said the investigation of 42 deportation cases found majority of arrests of families by UKBA were carried out as early as between 6.30am and 6.40am. The report had disclosed many families were given less than 45 minutes to pack all their belongings, including clothes, medication and children’s toys, before being taken to a detention centre to await removal.
Subsequently, a High Court ruling prevented the removal of foreign nationals given less than 72 hours notice of removal. The UKBA now is fighting the ruling.

A UKBA spokesman said they were appealing the decision to the Court of Appeal and it was listed for hearing in November. The policy would be further reviewed following the decision from the courts.

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