The Bishop of Durham asked a question about protection for children and unaccompanied minors arriving in the UK on 8th March 2023, following the government’s announcement of the planned Illegal Migration Bill:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I return to the Statement, rather than the Bill, which we will spend hours debating in due course. There was a lot in this Statement that worried me, but what worried me even more was that there was no reference whatever to children, unaccompanied children and their protection in this whole process. Can the Minister comment on why nothing was said about that in the Statement?
Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con): The Statement was intended to—and did—accurately set out the contents of the Bill. Indeed, in the exchanges that followed, which the right reverend Prelate will find in Hansard, it was clear that there was discussion of the status of children. I can confirm that the position is this: the removal of any under-18s will be delayed until adulthood except in certain circumstances. As the right reverend Prelate is aware, one issue that has arisen in relation to the exception for minors is of people claiming to be minors when they are not. This is of course an attempt to evade immigration control and can have serious safety ramifications if such a person is placed with children.
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