LONDON — Opposition parties and child advocates on Tuesday accused the UK government of endangering vulnerable young people after authorities said a large number of children who had arrived in the UK as asylum seekers had gone missing. .
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick told MPs that more than 200 children and teenagers under the age of 18 were missing from government-approved accommodation. He said he was a teenage boy, mostly from Albania.
Labor MP Peter Kyle said 76 children had disappeared from a hotel in the south coast seaside town of Brighton.
observer Citing child protection officials and an unidentified whistleblower working for a government contractor, this week’s newspaper said dozens of young people were kidnapped in the street outside a Brighton hotel and tied up in a car. He said that he was taken.
“The uncomfortable truth for us is that if even one of the children of our associates in this room goes missing, the world stops,” Kyle told the House. In the community, a child went missing, then 5 went missing, then 10 went missing, then 50 went missing, and now 76 go missing. but nothing happened.”
Yvette Cooper, the Labor Party’s immigration spokeswoman, has accused the government of “a complete dereliction of duty that puts children at risk”.
England’s Children’s Commissioner, Rachel De Souza, said reports of children disappearing from hotels were “those displaced by banded groups of people determined to exploit them. It has once again highlighted the vulnerability of children in the United States.”
In a letter to the Home Office, she said: “I am concerned for the safety of this group of children whose vulnerability is exacerbated by not speaking English.
Security guards, nurses and social workers are all stationed at the hotel to ensure the safety of the children, Jenric said.
However, he admitted, “We do not have the authority to detain unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in these settings, and we know that some children go missing.”
“Many of those who went missing have since been tracked down and found,” he said.
Jenric said he had seen no evidence of children being kidnapped on the street, but promised to investigate further.
“I’m not going to let this matter go,” he said.
The UK has received fewer asylum seekers than European countries such as Italy, Germany and France, but there has been a significant increase in the number of people trying to cross the English Channel in small boats to reach the UK. In 2022 she will cross the Channel to reach Britain with more than 45,000 people, and several have died.
The government has promised to stop dangerous travel, but so far it has failed.