Refugee crisis: 20 children among 200 Syrians deported by the UK since start of war

The Government has deported nearly 200 Syrian men, women and children who have arrived in Britain since the start of the conflict in their country.

Of 31 unaccompanied asylum seeking Syrian children who have arrived in the UK this year, only 12 were granted refugee status, 45 per cent (14) were given temporary leave to remain until just before their 18th birthdays. The rest were deemed to be adults and refused. The rate at which unaccompanied Syrian children are being given asylum has dropped in the past three years, from 75 per cent in the first half of 2013 to just 39 per cent this year. The rate at which adults receive asylum is much higher.

Kamena Dorling of Coram Children’s Legal Centre said:  “Syrian children should only be returned to another European country under the Dublin regulations if this is for the purposes of family reunification and it has been assessed that return would be in the child’s best interests.”

But the Home Office said: “There will be circumstances where children do not meet the criteria to be recognised as a refugee under the Refugee Convention, but they may be granted another form of leave to remain, for example humanitarian protection or discretionary leave.

“The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and we consider every application on its individual merits. We take cases involving children seriously and their welfare is at the heart of every decision made.”

This article was first published in the Independent

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