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Published: Fri, 02 Feb 2018

Asylum Seekers children in the UK

Asylum seekers children are faced and suffered from the scourge of war they are not decided to wage it or even to effect on it. They are paying the cost of the decisions of adult world to wage war. [1] They Have a sense of extremely wary of rape or severe violations have been watched, mostly in their household been raped or killed, forcing them to flee their homes in looking for the safety. [2] They do this either by themselves “Unaccompanied” or with parents or other relative “Accompanied”. [3] In addition, some children asylum seeking come to the UK because their situation of living is grave poverty and deprivation. This mean those children need special care and wide range of emotional and physical needs as well as deep understanding of these needs by who deal with them. [4] In this dissertation we will evaluate the extent of the policy of the UK’s system dealing with asylum seekers children to which comply with internationally recognised human rights standards by discuss and analyse critically these policies. This attempt to give, to those who dealing with children seeking asylum in the UK’s authority and those advocates of children rights, particular ideation to what is existing and must to be. And this chapter provided an essential background and information about those children who seeking asylum in the UK and the legislation that deal with them.

Statistics Information.

There are regular statistical data on asylum applications have been published by Home Office, despite of the fact that, the total number of asylum seekers or refugees children is not available because that, accompanied children are not being seen as refugees individually but as dependents in the care of parents and carers. Therefore, the official figures of Home Office mentions accompanied children Impliedly without details. [5] However, some resources estimated that the number of refugees children in schools in 2002 is around 82000 and 6750 unaccompanied children. [6] From 2002 tell 2008 around 40,000 children have arrived or been borne in the UK in asylum seeking families. [7] In addition, 4,285 Unaccompanied children sought asylum arrived in the UK in 2008 as well as 1,400 young people had age assessment. [8] 

Recently, according to Home Office, in the second quarter of 2010 (Q2 2010) there are 2,380 for those leaving who had claimed asylum including dependants (child or partner) which means there was decrease of 15 per cent compared with (Q2 2009). [9] Specifically, the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children supported by local authorities, estimated at around 4,000 in June 2010. [10] Interestingly, these children have came from a variety of countries of origin, usually as a side-effect of armed conflicts, civil and military conflicts, wars, abuse, economic hardship, natural disasters and environmental devastation. In 2004 the top countries of origin of those asylum seekers in 2007 were Afghanistan (11%), Iran (9%), China (9%),Iraq (8%), Eritrea (8%) Zimbabwe (8%), Somalia (7%), Pakistan (4%), Sri Lanka (4%), and other M. East & North Africa [11] (4%.), [12] all of them experience armed conflict from serious repression of minority groups or political opponents. [13] 

The UK’s Domestic Legislations and International Obligations

The UK is one of the effective and influential States in all areas of international law, and important member of human rights community and the international conventions.

It ratified the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol of 1967 and it confirmed its commitment toward the convention within the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 which states that “nothing in the immigration rules shall lay down any practice which would be contrary to the Convention”. [14] 

Also the UK is one of the 191 countries that ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the child (UNCRC) which is the most related to the children’s rights. The Convention made 54 articles in child civil, political, cultural, social rights and it came into force in the UK in January 1992 [15] and incorporated them in its domestic law through the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, and the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004. [16] 

However, the UK government had the reservations and declarations entered on its ratification. One of the reservations is related to asylum and immigration policy against article 22 which has special reference to refugee children:

1) “States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee in accordance with international or domestic law and procedures, shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of applicable rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights or humanitarian instruments to which the said states are parties.

2) For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate, cooperation in any efforts by the United Nations and other competent intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and to trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to obtain information necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases where no parents or other members of the family can be found, the child shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason, as set forth in the present Convention.” ( UNCRC89). [17] 

And the UK’s reservation as following:

The United Kingdom reserves the right to apply such legislation, in so far as it relates to the entry into, stay in and departure from the United Kingdom of those who do not have the right under the law of the United Kingdom to enter and remain in the United Kingdom, and to the acquisition and possession of citizenship, as it may deem necessary from time to time. [18] 

By this reservation the UK would not deal with children who seeking asylum or refugees as children resident in the UK , simply because they not resident. [19] The UK government faced considerable criticisms from many NGOs on this reservation, with the insistence of the government that there is no intention of withdrawing the reservation. [20] This affects directly to the protection and well-being of children seeking asylum which considered as the multiples for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on domestic level and also allows detention of asylum seeking children under age of 18 years. [21] As a result of NGOs pressure and after more than 20 years of this situation of children asylum seekers the UK government in 2008 withdrew its reservation that against article 22 of the UNCRC. [22] 

Definition of Asylum seekers, Unaccompanied and Accompanied child:

Officially, in the UK, asylum seeker is “a person is referred to as an asylum seeker in the UK only if he/she has lodged a claim for asylum with the Home Office and is still waiting to see if that claim will be granted” (Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, 2002) [23] this person is become refugee if his application has passed successfully. However, The UN Convention on the Status of Refugees,(the Geneva Convention, 1951) defined a “refugee as a person who has fled their country of origin to a foreign country due to a well-founded fear of persecution”. [24] 

There are two group of children seeking asylum in the UK, Unaccompanied Asylum seekers Children (UASC) which defined by Home Office as “a person who at the time of making the asylum application is, or (if there is no proof) appears to be, under 18 and is applying in his or her own right and has no relative or guardian in this country’’. [25] 

And Accompanied Asylum Seekers Children (AASC) defined as a child who: is applying for asylum in their own right; and forms part of a family group; or is separated from both parents and is being cared for by an adult who by law has responsibility to do so or is in a private fostering arrangement. [26] 


Chapter 2

Critical Issues


* Age disputes or Age Assessment.

*Detention of Children.

* A right to education.

* The healthcare Issue.

* the mental health of asylum seeking children.


Chapter 3

UASC Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers Children


The most vulnerable people in the world (UASC)

* Guardianship For Asylum Seeking Children.

* Trafficking and Missing UASC.

* Removal UASC from the UK.

* Restoring Family Links for Unaccompanied and

Separated Children


Chapter 4


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