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Britain receives highest EU child asylum claims

Image credit: The New York Times

The number of unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in the UK rose to 3,650 last year.

Now the country with the highest claims, the UK ranked third in highest intake of all asylum claims from unaccompanied children in the EU in 2018.

In terms of the overall numbers of asylum seekers, the UK was placed fifth receiving 44,835 claims out of Europe's 738,000 annual total.

According to the EU's asylum unit, figures of child asylum claims for the UK surged by a fifth over the 12-month period.

Across Europen countries, there was an 11 per cent rise in claims, although figures are still below the spike seen in the 2015 migrant crisis, which saw hundreds of thousands of people escape war and persecution by dangerously travelling the Mediterranean Sea.

Image credit: UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

The surge in child applicants in Britain is particularly worrying because many young people risk their lives to reach the UK, often in small boats and dingies across the Channel.

Reminding us of the tragedies that can occur in the struggle to reach Britain as an asylum seeker, in October last year at Grays in Essex, 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated lorry, of which ten teenagers perished.

Helping Britain to cope with what appears to be a problem on the rise, earlier this month the Home Office announced it was increasing the amount of money it would pay councils to look after unaccompanied children who claim asylum to £240 a week per head - an increase of up to 60 per cent.


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