UNACCOMPANIED child refugees stranded in Europe have been left vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking after being failed by the British government, a report published today warns.
Ministers were accused of doing “as little as legally possible” to help minors who are unaccompanied or have become separated from relatives.
The assessment is based on an inquiry led by former Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart and Baroness Butler-Sloss, who were co-chairs of the all-party parliamentary group on trafficking and modern slavery before it was dissolved when the June general election was called.
In the foreword, they write that refugee children face daily risks and dangers that “simply would not be tolerated” if they were visible.
Since the Jungle camp in Calais was cleared in October, the situation for children has become “intolerable,” the report says.
It adds that the failure of the British and French governments to deliver an efficient, safe transfer to Britain is “unquestionably” fuelling both trafficking and smuggling.