The government says more than 200 child asylum-seekers are missing - A official said more than 200 children and teenagers under 18 were missing from government-approved accommodation. A newspaper reported dozens were abducted outside a hotel an….
Robert Jenrick, Britains minister of state for immigration, arrives for a Cabinet meeting in Downing street in London on Tuesday. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption
LONDON â Opposition parties and childrens advocates accused the U.K. government on Tuesday of putting vulnerable young people in danger, after authorities said scores of children who arrived in Britain as asylum-seekers have disappeared.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick told lawmakers that more than 200 children and teenagers under 18 were missing from government-approved accommodation. He said most were teenage boys from Albania.
Labour Party lawmaker Peter Kyle said 76 children had vanished from a hotel in the south coast seaside town of Brighton, one of several around the country where unaccompanied children are housed temporarily.
The Observer newspaper this week cited child protection sources and an unidentified whistleblower working for a government contractor as saying dozens of youngsters had been abducted off the street outside a Brighton hotel and bundled into cars.
"The uncomfortable truth for us is if one child who was related to one of us in this room went missing, the world would stop," Kyle said in the House of Commons. "But in the community I represent a child has gone missing, then five went missing, then a dozen went missing, then 50 went missing and currently today 76 are missing and nothing is happening."
Rachel de Souza, the childrens commissioner for England, said the reports of children disappearing from hotels "have highlighted, once again, the vulnerability of these children, who are in limbo, with a concerted group of people determined to exploit them."
"I am concerned for the safety of this group of children whose vulnerability is exacerbated by not speaking English, many of whom have no support network and are not aware of their rights," she said in a letter to the Home Office.