Government guidelines on the treatment of child asylum seekers are being "routinely flouted" by UK Border Agency staff, according to a report.Really…? What are we doing, beating them with whips? Starving them?
Young people are regularly locked up and face a "culture of disbelief" among officials, the report adds.Well, of course they do!
It is, after all, the job of the UKBA to be sceptical of the people who try to enter the country, whether they be doe-eyed little orphans or adults.
But that doesn’t suit the bleeding-heart brigade:
The government introduced a code of practice two months ago to safeguard the welfare of the more than 7,000 asylum-seeking children who arrive in the UK each year.And they cite this example:
But the Does Every Child Matter? report from Refugee and Migrant Justice - formerly the Refugee Legal Centre - describes cases which it says show the guidelines are ignored.
It says an eight-year-boy who had fled his country after his home had been destroyed in fighting was given no legal help with his asylum interview and application.Hmm, how does an unaccompanied eight-year-old enter the country, you say? Well, it happens when he’s smuggled in by adults, of course. From a neighbouring country...
His claim was refused because of his lack of "credibility", the report says.
So we’re the bad guys for not just saying ‘Oh, well, come on in...’?
The same goes for their other example:
In another case highlighted in the report, a 16-year-old was wrongly assessed to be 26 and detained in an adult centre for six months where he became severely depressed.The person who ‘wrongly assessed’ him as 26 was not, as you may assume from reading this extract, someone in the UKBA. It was someone from ‘another organisation’ who filled in his asylum claim, and the UKBA took him as his word.
So they were castigated for being sceptical about the first case, and now are castigated for not being sceptical about the second! Ever feel they can’t win?
Of course not. At least, not according to this activist group:
Lisa Nandy, policy adviser at the Children's Society, said the report highlighted the "discriminatory treatment of children who seek asylum in the UK".Frankly, it seems to me they are treated no better and no worse than adult illegals.
And that’s how it should be…
A UK Border Agency spokesman said treating children with care and compassion was "number one priority".The solution, it seems, is therefore within their own hands.
"Whenever we take decisions involving children, their welfare comes first. That's why we have transformed our children's policy, enshrining in law a commitment to protect youngsters and keep them safe from harm," said the spokesman.
"When the independent courts find a family has no need for protection, we expect them to return home.
"We would much prefer it if they did this voluntarily - enforced removals are very much a last resort."