Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership’s Chair, Chris Robson, has published a scrutiny paper into missing refugee children from Home Office run hotels in Brighton & Hove
Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership has today published a scrutiny paper in response to a number of children missing from Home Office commissioned hotels in the city.
Responding to the report, Councillor Hannah Allbrooke, Chair of the Children, Young People and Skills Committee said:
“We welcome the scrutiny paper of the Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and thank Chris Robson for his work producing it.
“The paper is clear – the responsibility for the use of hotel accommodation for refugee children is that of the Home Office. It is also clear from the report that Brighton & Hove City Council has acted responsibly to protect the welfare of these children within our powers.
“The paper is also highlights that this is a national issue with systemic problems. Much more needs to be done by the Home Office to end the use of Hotel accommodation altogether. In the interim period there needs to be adequate regulation in place for hotel accommodation through agencies such as OFSTED.
“We have made these points repeatedly to Brighton & Hove’s communities as well as the Home Office over the last nineteen months, since hotels in the city first started to be used to accommodate children. We wholly agree with these recommendations.
“As a city of sanctuary, we have always done and will continue to do everything we can to support refugee children, who have had traumatic experiences in their short lives to this point. The same cannot be said of ministers at the Home Office, who are continually endeavouring to create a hostile environment for vulnerable asylum seekers, regardless of age.
“We must now unite in challenging the Home Office to ensure that the children who are missing are found, and that future refugee children are prevented from going missing.
“The report also outlines that local politicians must be careful with their use of language around refugee children. We have always endeavoured to uphold these principles as the safety and security of these children is too important for political point-scoring.
“We will always challenge the Home Office on their actions and urge all communities to continue to turn their focus to those with the powers, the Home Secretary, to demand the end of hotel accommodation.”