LibLink: Roger Roberts: Forcing teenagers back to war zones another example of Tory inhumanity

“Inhumanity” is a word that you should use with caution, but when you are looking at a Government that has no compunction about sending child asylum seekers back to war zones the minute they turn 18, when they may have grown up here and have nothing left to go back to, then they’ve earned it.

Roger Roberts is laying down a marker for the future as this country prepares to take in some unaccompanied child refugees. What will become of them when they turn 18? Will they be sent back to a devastated Syria where they may have no connections, no matter what?

He’s trying to force the Government to tell us how many children they have deported back to places like Afghanistan in the past few years and is so far not having much luck. He won’t be giving up though, as he wrote for Politics Home.

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  • Richard Underhill 13th May '16 - 11:22am

    The 1951 Refugee Convention is still in force in the UK (together with the European Convention on Human Rights).
    Each decision has to be correct at the time it was taken. So, unlike an ordinary immigration decision where an appeal claims that the decision was wrong, an asylum appeal reconsiders the entire case on the current circumstances. For instance a political coup or an election result can completely change the circumstances in the country to which an appellant might be returned.
    Between arrival and reaching the age of 18 years there could be a period of months or years. Therefore an unaccompanied minor who also claims asylum can claim asylum again. Whether such a claim has a reasonable prospect of success depends on the country in question. The decision/s of the Immigration Judge or Tribunal may depend on the human rights criteria more than the asylum facts.

  • Richard Underhill 13th May '16 - 11:27am

    “war zones” needs to be defined more precisely. Suppose someone has come from Kashmir at a time of trouble. The return would be to a country and not necessarily a region. Return to a different part of India or Pakistan would be specifically allowed by clauses in the 1951 Convention.

  • There is something about the Home Office and it always seems to have been the case. There was a brief period of liberal thinking when Roy Jenkins was Home Secretary but otherwise its officials who make the inhumane decisions for ministers to sign off to do seem to be a special breed of person. Where does the civil service find them? What has gone wrong with their education? How do they not see that sending teenagers abroad to countries where they may have no family left or society to fit into is inhumane and not worthy of a civilised society?
    How do their colleagues in other parts of the Home Office not see that it is inhumane to deport elderly relatives in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s whose only family is in this country? And so on and so on.
    Of course one can blame heartless ministers but civil servants have a choice. They could apply for transfers to departments that don’t pursue such unethical agendas.

  • “… civil servants have a choice. They could apply for transfers to departments that don’t pursue such unethical agendas.”

    Perhaps many of them have; what sort of people would that leave behind? Does that explain some of the decisions made?

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