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Passports: China

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will introduce measures to ensure that all passport details of unaccompanied children travelling on flights from China and Vietnam are sent to the Immigration Office of the UK airport prior to the aircraft's arrival; and if she will make a statement. (182075)

[holding answer 28 January 2008]: The majority of passengers travelling on flights from China and Vietnam to the United Kingdom are likely to be visa nationals. Biometrics are taken from all visa nationals over the age of five as part of the entry clearance process. The passport details and biometric information is available to immigration staff working at ports of entry.

In addition to this UKBA—the Uk Border Agency—has a network of airline liaison officers (ALOs) based in key source and transit locations which are targeted by those who may seek to abuse the UK's immigration controls. ALOs provide a comprehensive programme of formal training for carriers in UK passport and visa requirements and forgery awareness. This training incorporates a session about the smuggling and trafficking of children and adults, and the means of identifying vulnerable children and their traffickers by their demeanour and the documents they may present.

Finally, the e-Borders Programme will check and screen against watchlists 60 per cent. of all passenger and crew movements, including children, in and out of the UK by December 2009, 95 per cent. by December 2010 and 100 per cent. by 2014.