The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) has begun work on an inspection into how the Home Office ensures it acts in the ‘best interest’ of unaccompanied asylum seeking children. This is the second in what is intended to be a series of inspections focused on the treatment of children within the context of borders, immigration and citizenship.
This inspection will look at:
- the reception arrangements for the children, focusing on the support and information provided to the child, collation of information about the child, and referrals to other parties
- how the initial encounter and who that encounter is with affects the child
- the Home Office’s role in carrying out age assessments (including initial age assessments), providing information and support to the child and how the Home Office works with local authorities in the case of age disputes
- the views of the Home Office and stakeholders about whether granting the unaccompanied young asylum seekers leave to remain is in the ‘best interests’ of the child, the impact of granting such leave, and the amount of information and support provided to children about it
The evidence gathering process has started and the inspectorate’s established stakeholder groups will shortly be asked for their input. However, the ICIBI is keen to gather written evidence from anyone who has knowledge and experience of any of the above areas. To find out how to contribute evidence, head here.