Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit has been working with a significant number of children who have been through Calais on their way to the North West.
The briefing paper looks at the experiences of 40 children that they represent and the challenges they have experienced in the UK.
It draws three conclusions:
- The UK must protect children from trafficking and exploitation by establishing safe and accessible legal routes to the UK for children claiming asylum;
- Every child claiming asylum in the UK should have access to an experienced immigration lawyer throughout their asylum claim; and
- Children seeking asylum in the UK should have financial support and social work assistance regardless of how they entered the UK.
The research found that children reunited with family members in the UK through Dublin III were experiencing particular difficulties understanding and accessing financial support. This was in part because their circumstances straddled different types of support (asylum support, welfare benefits, local authority support) and as a consequence the families were in need of particular advice to understand their entitlements and support to access them.
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