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UK Home Office Challenged Over Deportation Risks to Alleged Minor Asylum Seekers to Rwanda

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Mbeki edmond

May 12, 2024

 Home Office is facing legal threats

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We take the safety and welfare of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children extremely seriously, and have been clear that they will not be sent to Rwanda. Many individuals arrive in the UK without documentary evidence and where there is doubt on someone’s age, they undergo an initial age assessment. The lawfulness of our policy on initial age assessments was recently endorsed by the supreme court.”
Lone minors are amongest people to be deported to Rwanda

The UK Home Office is facing legal threats over the potential deportation of children to Rwanda, as errors in age assessment might wrongly classify them as adults. Amidst efforts to expedite the deportation of some asylum seekers to Rwanda, concerns have been raised about the initial methods used by officials to determine age based solely on appearance and demeanor.

This approach has been criticized as insufficient and incompatible with the government's assurances that no children would be included in the deportation flights scheduled to start this summer.

A pre-action legal letter from the Humans for Rights Network claims the current assessment process exposes unaccompanied minors to extreme risks, including forced removal to Rwanda.

The organization highlighted significant mental health declines and increased suicidal thoughts among the children at risk. Data from last year showed that a substantial majority of young asylum seekers initially classified as adults were later found to be minors after more thorough evaluations.

The Home Office maintains that its policy is lawful and that initial assessments are endorsed by the supreme court, yet the debate continues as the safety and accuracy of these assessments are called into question.

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