The British government will face legal action on Wednesday (May 2) over extensive delays in child asylum cases, amid mounting criticism of the way the Home Office is dealing with thousands of unaccompanied minors in the UK.
Lawyers and mental health experts are warning that child survivors of rape, torture and trafficking are suffering mental health problems because they must wait months, even years, for their cases to be addressed.
Even the young people brought by the Home Office directly from Calais are affected by delays and wider problems in the asylum process.
The Guardian has heard of least two cases of young people threatened with removal despite being brought over legally to join their family. Now delays have become so widespread, lawyers say, that they are bringing a judicial review case against the Home Office, based on two test cases.
The Home Office says it is committed to resolving 98% of cases within six moths, but says some child asylum cases are complex and take longer to resolve.