To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children have been (a) transferred to the UK and (b) allocated a place but not yet been transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016.
21 January 2019
The government remains fully committed to delivering on our commitment to relocate the specified number of 480 children under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 and we continue to work very closely with participating States -France, Greece and Italy - and local authorities and delivery partners in order to meet this commitment as soon as possible.
The Home Office consulted extensively with local authorities to determine the number of unaccompanied children they would be able to support under section 67, in addition to the almost 4,500 unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the care of local authorities across the country. In October 2018, the Court of Appeal confirmed that the consultation to determine the specified number was lawful.
Over 220 unaccompanied children have been transferred to the UK, and transfers of eligible children are ongoing. We will not provide a running commentary on numbers and will publish the details once all children are in the UK.
On 20 December 2018, the Government announced our decision to remove the date criterion for the referral of unaccompanied children in Europe to be relocated to the UK under section 67. This means that participating States are now able to refer the most vulnerable children whose best interests are served by relocation to the UK, regardless of when they arrived into Europe. We are confident that this change will support an increase the rate of referrals from participating States.
Once an eligible child is referred, the Home Office conducts relevant security checks and seeks to identify an appropriate local authority care placement that takes into account each individual child’s specific needs. Home Office officials continue to work closely with local authorities to identify available care placements for children relocated to the UK under this commitment, as well as those transferred to the UK under our resettlement schemes and between local authorities under the National Transfer Scheme.