Coram Children’s Legal Centre has strongly opposed, in both legal and moral terms, the UK government’s plan to permanently remove people trying to claim asylum in the UK to Rwanda. There have recently been serious concerns raised over children – who have been incorrectly age assessed as adults – being caught up under the policy. Following the Home Office’s stated intention to remove people permanently to Rwanda on Tuesday 14th June, we, along with other children’s charities in the Refugee & Migrant Children’s Consortium (RMCC), have written a letter to the Home Secretary, outlining our concerns around children being caught up in the policy.
There are no safeguards in place for children who state that they are children but are treated as adults by the Home Office. They have struggled to obtain advice and support when this happens. Members of the RMCC have supported a number of children who were initially treated as adults and later found to be children. The government’s flawed approach to age disputes must not put children at further risk of the government’s flawed Rwanda policy. It is crucial that those young people who have had their age determined by the Home Office as over 18 are supported to obtain legal advice and are protected from removal procedures while they have an ongoing right to challenge the decision made on age.