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Human Trafficking: Children

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to use biometric identification of children to identify those trafficked into the UK. (250878)

We are issuing identity cards for foreign nationals to children for the same purpose as adults. This is to provide more secure and reliable evidence of children’s immigration status and identity. By requiring children to be subject to the biometric registration provisions we are also able to fix their identities. This will help tackle child trafficking, as well as making it harder for those intending to exploit a child’s identity, for example, by placing a child into a family they claim to be theirs, for the purposes of fraudulently claiming public funds.

We will request DNA evidence from the guardians or carers who present with unaccompanied asylum seeking children to establish the credibility of claimed relationships in an attempt to stop child trafficking. This evidence or a failure to provide it will form part of the information we send to the police and Children’s (social) services where we suspect the child to be a trafficking victim. It can also be used as evidence towards an immigration application.