UTV

200 refugee children missing from gov’t-run UK hotels

Hundreds of child asylum seekers have gone missing since the British government started housing minors in hotels due to a strain on the country’s asylum accommodation system, British Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick told lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday, amid calls for an investigation into the matter, CNN reported.

Jenrick said Tuesday that around 200 children have gone missing since July 2021. “Out of the 4,600 unaccompanied children that have been accommodated in hotels since July 2021, there have been 440 missing occurrences and 200 children still remain missing,” he said.

Approximately 13 of the 200 missing children are under the age of 16, and one is female according to government data. The majority of the missing, 88%, are Albanian nationals, and the remaining 12% are from Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Turkey.

British charities and migrant rights groups have long complained about the bad conditions in the country’s overwhelmed and underfunded asylum system.

The number of asylum claims processed in the UK has collapsed in recent years, leaving people in limbo for months and years – trapped in processing facilities or temporary hotels and unable to work – and fueling an intractable debate about Britain’s borders.

MNA/PR

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