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UK plans to deport Afghan children
Tue, 08 Jun 2010 09:20:02 GMT
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Britain's immigration officials in the Home Office plan to deport child asylum seekers back to Afghanistan by setting up a £4m "reintegration center."

The Guardian has disclosed that the UK Border Agency plans to set up a £4m "reintegration center" to deport unaccompanied child asylum seekers to Kabul from Britain. Immigration officials at the Home Office hope to forcibly deport 12 boys under 18 and 120 adults per month by providing "reintegration assistance" in Afghanistan.

Other European countries, such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are also reported to be preparing to deport Afghan children to Kabul, with Norway announcing plans to open up a reception center there.

Such actions are supported by an EU policy that calls for the deportation of unaccompanied child asylum seekers only upon "creating reception centers that can provide care for minors when the family cannot be found."

Simone Troller of Human Rights Watch has warned about the flaws in the UK's proposed plan, pointing to a government document that called for an "EU-wide presumption" that a child's best interest was to return, which also argued against any formal safeguards such as guardianship as "immensely expensive to put in place."

Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council, stressed that, "There has been little said about how these children would be kept safe…The money would be better spent improving the way that children's claims are assessed."

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