TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -In a Tuesday report, the Thomson Reuters Foundation uncovered data from UK Home Office (interior ministry) which showed that Britain had denied asylum to 183 people trafficked or enslaved as children between 2015 and 2017.
The report said the rejection rate was double the total for the previous three years, adding that many of those children had a right to be protected, especially in a country like Britain which claims to be one of the pioneers of international fight against slavery.
The report said many of the children had been deported to other countries as soon as they turned 17 and a half, when their automatic right to stay in Britain as child asylum seekers ends.
Most of the ex-slave children whose asylum request had been rejected were from poor countries like Vietnam, Eritrea and Afghanistan, said the report, adding that more than 275 non-European victims had been denied refugee status in Britain since 2012.
Lawmakers and rights campaigners said it was a shame for the UK to send children to other countries despite fears that many of them will fall back into the hands of traffickers.
“We should be ashamed as a nation,” said British lawmaker Sarah Champion in a tweet while referring to the new figures.
Catherine Baker, policy officer at the anti-child trafficking charity ECPAT UK, said the government had to devise a more robust policy to ensure children have long term stability and support.
“It is incredibly shocking ... that the situation is getting worse for young victims of trafficking,” said Baker, adding, “They are being returned to countries where they have a high risk of being re-trafficked.”
An interior ministry spokesman sought to defend Britain’s "proud history" of granting asylum to those in need of protection, saying the government assessed each individual refugee case on merit.
Source: Press TV