UK Forces Child Asylum Seekers to Share Rooms With Adults, Reports Say
© Flickr / Vaughan LeiberumBritish flag
© Flickr / Vaughan Leiberum
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Last month, UK Interior Minister Suella Braverman said she intended to inject "more rigor and robustness" into the asylum seeking system to stop adult refugees "pretending to be children."
Some juvenile asylum seekers in the United Kingdom have to share hotel rooms with adults after they were erroneously assigned the wrong age, media reported on Monday.
The newspaper spoke with seven asylum seekers aged 16 or 17 in the northern UK's county Yorkshire, who were all misclassified as aged 22 and above, which legally allowed the authorities to place them in hotels with adults.
A 16-year-old from Eritrea was quoted as saying that he was misclassified as 26 and placed in a hotel room with a 30-year-old man, possibly due to an interpreter mistake. A 16-year-old Afghan was quoted as saying that when he saw and pointed out the mistake in his papers — his birth year written by a border officer as 2001 instead of 2007 — he was told not to worry and that "a caseworker will sort it out for you later."
A spokesperson for the UK Interior Ministry said they had no comment on the boys’ cases, adding that the government wants to prevent adult asylum seekers from pretending they are minors to receive benefits.
"Between January 2016 and the year ending June 2021, 58% of asylum applicants whose age was disputed were found to be adults," the spokesperson was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
At the same time, the Refugee Council, a charity fund, said that it discovered that only 14 of the 223 people initially considered "certainly" adult were actual adults, in an age assessment project in 2021.
Last month, Braverman revealed she intended to introduce "more rigor and robustness" into the asylum seeking system to stop adult refugees "pretending to be children".