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Immigration: Children

Volume 688: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many non-British children have been taken into care by children's social services, on or soon after arrival in the United Kingdom, in each of the past three years; whether they can specify which local authorities were involved and distinguish between accompanied and unaccompanied children. [HL1087]

The table below shows the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children who started to be looked after during each of the years ending 31 March 2004 to 2006. Other non-British children who are taken into care are not separately identifiable in nationally collected data.

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children who started to be looked after during years ending 31 March 2004, 2005 and 2006 1, 2

numbers

2004

2005

2006

England

1,600

1,800

2,100

North-east

10

20

10

Shire counties

Durham

0

0

-

Northumberland

0

0

0

Unitary authorities

Darlington

0

0

0

Hartlepool

0

0

0

Middlesbrough

0

0

0

Redcar & Cleveland

0

0

0

Stockton on Tees

-

-

-

Metropolitan Districts

Gateshead

0

0

0

Newcastle upon Tyne

-

15

0

North Tyneside

-

-

-

South Tyneside

0

0

-

Sunderland

0

0

0

North-west

50

70

150

Shire counties

Cheshire

0

0

0

Cumbria

0

0

0

Lancashire

0

0

0

Unitary authorities

Blackburn & Darwen

0

0

0

Blackpool

0

0

-

Halton

0

0

0

Warrington

0

0

0

Metropolitan Districts

Bolton

-

5

-

Bury

-

-

15

Knowsley

0

0

0

Liverpool

-

10

25

Manchester

40

40

90

Oldham

-

0

0

Rochdale

-

-

0

Salford

-

-

-

Sefton

0

0

0

St Helens

0

0

0

Stockport

-

0

-

Tameside

-

0

-

Trafford

0

0

0

Wigan

-

-

-

Wirral

0

0

-

Yorkshire & The Humber

40

70

40

Shire counties

North Yorkshire

-

0

-

Unitary authorities

East Riding Yorkshire

-

-

-

Kingston upon Hull

0

-

0

North-east Lincolnshire

-

-

0

North Lincolnshire

0

-

-

York

0

0

0

Metropolitan Districts

Barnsley

0

-

0

Bradford

0

-

0

Calderdale

-

-

0

Doncaster

-

0

0

Kirklees

-

0

0

Leeds

-

15

Rotherham

-

-

-

Sheffield

20

30

20

Wakefield

0

-

-

East Midlands

30

20

30

Shire Counties

Derbyshire

0

-

-

Leicestershire

-

-

15

Lincolnshire

0

-

-

Northamptonshire

5

-

-

Nottinghamshire

-

-

-

Unitary authorities

Derby

5

-

-

Leicester

10

-

-

Nottingham

0

-

-

Rutland

0

0

0

West Midlands

50

90

160

Shire counties

Shropshire

-

-

-

Staffordshire

-

10

15

Warwickshire

-

10

10

Worcestershire

0

-

-

Unitary authorities

Herefordshire

0

0

0

Stoke-on-Trent

0

0

0

Telford & Wrekin

0

0

0

Metropolitan Districts

Birmingham

10

40

90

Coventry

-

-

-

Dudley

0

0

0

Sandwell

0

-

-

Solihull

30

30

35

Walsall

0

-

-

Wolverhampton

-

0

0

East of England

70

90

140

Shire counties

Bedfordshire

-

-

-

Cambridgeshire

-

25

90

Essex

5

15

5

Hertfordshire

-

-

5

Norfolk

10

10

20

Suffolk

0

0

0

Unitary Authorities

Luton

10

10

-

Peterborough

5

25

-

Southend

0

0

0

Thurrock

25

-

-

London

1,000

1,000

1,100

Inner London

390

320

340

Camden

15

20

5

City of London

10

20

10

Greenwich

30

15

40

Hackney

10

10

0

Hammersmith & Fulham

55

50

30

Islington

30

30

20

Kensington & Chelsea

35

30

25

Lambeth

30

25

105

Lewisham

75

30

15

Southwark

50

30

20

Tower Hamlets

10

30

20

Wandsworth

5

-

-

Westminster

40

30

40

Outer London

630

700

770

Barking & Dagenham

20

40

40

Barnet

15

45

20

Bexley

-

20

15

Brent

20

35

30

Bromley

5

10

15

Croydon

145

170

240

Ealing

-

30

35

Enfield

5

0

0

Haringey

55

90

55

Harrow.

5

10

25

Havering

-

-

-

Hillingdon

145

115

195

Hounslow

15

55

45

Kingston upon Thames

60

30

25

Merton

15

-

-

Newham

45

20

10

Redbridge

15

20

5

Richmond upon Thames

-

-

0

Sutton

0

0

-

Waltham Forest

50

10

15

South-east

310

380

470

Shire Counties

Buckinghamshire

-

-

-

East Sussex

-

-

-

Hampshire

-

15

15

Kent

160

215

270

Oxfordshire

30

40

40

Surrey

5

30

35

West Sussex

75

40

50

Unitary authorities

Bracknell Forest

0

-

0

Brighton & Hove

-

-

20

Isle of Wight

0

0

0

Medway Towns

0

0

0

Milton Keynes

0

0

0

Portsmouth

0

0

Reading

5

5

10

Slough

10

10

10

Southampton

-

-

0

West Berkshire

10

20

10

Windsor & Maidenhead

0

-

-

Wokingham

0

0

South-west

20

30

20

Shire counties

Cornwall

0

0

0

Devon

0

-

0

Dorset

0

0

0

Gloucestershire

-

0

-

Isles Of Scilly

0

0

0

Somerset

-

0

0

Wiltshire

-

-

-

Unitary authorities

Bath & North-east Somerset

0

0

0

Bournemouth

-

0

0

Bristol

-

-

-

North Somerset

-

-

-

Plymouth

5

5

-

Poole

0

0

-

South Gloucestershire

0

0

0

Swindon

0

20

10

Torbay

0

0

0

1Source: DfES, SSDA903 return which since 2004 covered all children looked after by local authorities.

2 To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, numbers at local authority level have been rounded to the nearest five, except numbers from one to five inclusive, which have been suppressed and replaced by a hyphen “-”. At national level, numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 and to the nearest 10 otherwise.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made an assessment of the average and standard deviation of the ages, between 16 and 20, at which children develop particular dental characteristics in Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iran, China and Somalia; and how they intend to use these data to assist in age determination for immigration control purposes. [HL1090]

While no specific assessment as outlined above has been carried out we have commissioned a review of the current scientific evidence on the effectiveness of dental age assessment techniques. We will carefully consider the findings of this review, which is expected to report by the end of February, before proceeding with any plans to introduce dental analysis as supplementary evidence in assessing age for immigration purposes. An interview with the child or young person and consideration of information submitted will remain important factors in the final decision on their age. We are planning to publish a consultation paper soon on this and other possible reforms in the context of processing applications for asylum from unaccompanied minors.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many unaccompanied young persons made applications for asylum in 2006; and in how many of these cases, and in respect of what countries, there was a dispute about the age of the applicant. [HL1091]

Information is not available on how many of those asylum applications lodged in 2006 from unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs) have, been age disputed.

Information on UASCs is published on a quarterly basis. Statistics on age-disputed applications are published annually. The quarter four UASC report will be available from 27 February 2007. Copies of these publications and others relating to immigration to the UK are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.htm. Data on age-disputed asylum applications in 2006 do not necessarily relate to UASC applications received within the same period.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many young unaccompanied asylum seekers from countries to which non-suspensive appeals apply claimed to be under 18; and on what grounds were each deemed to be over 18.[HL1092]

Data on the numbers of asylum applications from unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) and age-disputed cases from non-suspensive appeals countries can be found in the attached tables. Data on the grounds upon which individual age-disputed cases were deemed to be over 18 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case records.

Information on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is published quarterly and annually. Copies of these publications and others relating to immigration to the UK are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

UASC Applications from Non-suspensive Appeals Countries: Q3 2006 1

Nationality

Number of UASC Applications

Albania

10

Bulgaria

-

Jamaica

*

Macedonia

-

Moldova

*

Serbia and Montenegro

5

Romania

5

Bolivia

-

Brazil

-

Ecuador

-

South Africa

*

Sri Lanka

10

Ukraine

-

India

10

Ghana 2

*

Nigeria 2

10

Mongolia

5

1 Provisional figures rounded to nearest five, with “*” = one or two.

2 Includes figures for females who are not non-suspensive appeals (NSA) cases because NSA applies only to males from these countries.

Age Disputed Applications from Non-suspensive Appeals Countries: Q3 2006 1 2 3

Nationality

Number of Age Disputed Applications

Albania

5

Bulgaria

-

Jamaica

-

Macedonia

-

Moldova

-

Serbia and Montenegro

5

Romania

*

Bolivia

-

Brazil

-

Ecuador

-

South Africa

-

Sri Lanka

5

Ukraine

-

India

5

Ghana 4

*

Nigeria 4

10

Mongolia

-

1 Provisional figures rounded to nearest five, with “*” = one or two.

2 When an asylum applicant claims to be a minor but his/her physical appearance strongly suggests that he/she is over 18, IND’s policy is to treat the applicant as an adult until there is credible documentary or other persuasive evidence to demonstrate the age claimed.

3 Includes cases for which age disputed at time of application.

4 Includes figures for females who are not non-suspensive appeals (NSA) cases because NSA applies only to males from these countries.