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Immigrant Children

Volume 972: debated on Thursday 25 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether an instruction has been given to immigration officials that children shall not be interviewed except in the presence of a parent or adult relative.

It is the practice of entry clearance officers not to interview alone children under 14 years of age. Circumstances at ports of entry to the United Kingdom are such that it would be impracticable to place a similar restriction on interviews by the immigration service.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children in 1977, 1978 and 1979 to date were interviewed by immigration officials without any parent or adult relative present at the interview.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions he has had with public health authorities about the hazards of X-ray examination of children for immigration purposes;(2) if he will seek specialist advice about the advisability of subjecting immigrant children to X-ray examinations.

Medical examinations in the context of immigration control, including the use of X-ray examinations, are currently being reviewed in consultation with the chief medical officer Sir Henry Yellowlees. The conclusions will be announced in due course.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children in the course of 1977, 1978 and 1979 to date have been subjected to X-ray examination at the direction of immigration officials, and for what purposes.

I regret that figures to show the number of children X-rayed after being referred for examination by medical practitioners are not available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will discuss with the United Kingdom committee for the international year of the child is proposed code for the protection of children affected by the immigration laws.