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Education Select Committee to examine destitution among asylum-seeking, migrant children

Children’s Society welcomes evidence session and calls for urgent action

The Education Select Committee will hold a one-off oral evidence session on destitution amongst migrant and asylum-seeking children on Wednesday, 4th July. The first panel of witnesses will give the Committee the opportunity to explore the issues raised with those responsible for providing local authority and voluntary sector services to such children.  This will be followed by evidence from the Children's Minister and the Immigration Minister on relevant Government policies.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society said:

"The Children's Society welcomes the Education Select Committee's decision to examine the issue of destitution among migrant and asylum-seeking children.

"It is unacceptable that thousands of children who have come to the UK seeking sanctuary from violence are being left hungry, homeless and forced to resort to increasingly desperate means to survive. From our services, we know they are being put at risk of abuse, exploitation, violence and long-term health problems because of immigration restrictions on their access to critical support.

"Asylum-seeking parents are not allowed to work to lift their children out of poverty. And they aren't provided with the support they need to protect their children's welfare. This is forcing families to live in severe deprivation during the crucial early years of their children's lives. Many families are not even able to pay for the basics, including clothing, powdered milk and nappies for their babies.

"It is vital the government recognises that forced destitution of families is a crucial safeguarding issue. Urgent action is needed so that all children can access support to meet their needs."