Hundreds of asylum-seeking children disappear in Britain
About 200 children seeking asylum in the UK have disappeared from hotels where they were staying, Britain’s Immigration Secretary told MPs on Tuesday. Robert Jenrick called the situation “extremely worrying,” reported BBC News.
Jenrick said that of 4,600 asylum-seeking children who had arrived in the UK since 2021, 440 had disappeared but half had returned to their shelters. He said the majority of the missing children were teenagers from Albania and he had seen no evidence they had been abducted.
Asylum seekers who make it to the UK are often accommodated in hotels while their asylum claims are processed. This can take many months.
Opposition MP Yvette Cooper said there was “a criminal network involved” in removing the children from the hotels they were staying in, according to BBC News, and that the government had “completely failed to stop them”.
Over the weekend, British newspaper The Observer reported that dozens of children had been kidnapped by gangs from a hotel for asylum seekers in the English seaside city of Brighton. CBS News cannot independently verify this report.
“Children are literally picked up from outside the building, disappear and are not found. They are taken off the streets by traffickers,” an unnamed whistleblower from a UK government-hired company told The Observer.
Britain’s Home Office said it was not true that children were being kidnapped, The Observer reported, and that they were free to leave their accommodation.
“It is a total dereliction of duty,” Cooper said, “that the Home Office so neglects to protect the safety of children or to take action against the dangerous gangs that put them at terrible risk.” Ministers urgently need new safeguards in place.”
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https://www.cbsnews.com/news/missing-uk-children-asylum-seeking-disappear/ Hundreds of asylum-seeking children disappear in Britain