Author: Bethan Staton
The government’s treatment of unaccompanied child refugees who were denied residence in the UK has been ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal.
Lord Justice Hickinbottom said children were given “patently inadequate” reasons for being refused entry under the Dubs Amendment – an act that required the government to relocate a number of unaccompanied children to the UK.
But a 480 cap on places for unaccompanied child refugees will remain in place after the court rejected an argument that the government had not properly justified the upper limit.
Help Refugees, the charity that brought the challenge, said children who were refused relocation were not given written decisions, details about why they were rejected, or the opportunity to challenge the decision.
CEO and founder Josie Naughton said many of those who were turned away are now missing.
“It’s caused a lot of mental health difficulties because they don’t know what’s happening to them,” she told Sky News from Calais.
“They are the most vulnerable people in our society. They’ve been through conflict, hardship, and dangerous journeys few adults could comprehend.
“These are children who are self harming and attempting suicide, who are now living in France, Greece and Italy in the most dangerous conditions.”
The charity had also argued that the Home Office had failed to consult with local authorities about the number of children the UK could welcome – and that the country had capacity to help more than 480 children.
This was rejected by the High Court in November – a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
The Home Office acknowledged its failure to provide “sufficient information” to children who were refused entry had been ruled unlawful.