UK Migration Minister Robert Jenrick has admitted that some 200 minor asylum seekersmostly teenagers from Albania, have disappeared in asylum seekers’ accommodation. The confirmation comes as a result of an investigation by the newspaper ‘Guardian‘ that revealed the alleged kidnapping dozens of minors who were staying at a hotel run by the UK Home Office in Brighton, UK.
Now, the Government has confirmed the information and has also detailed that 13 of the minors are under 16 years of age and one of them is a girl.
The head of the portfolio, who has explained to British parliamentarians that of the 4,600 underage asylum seekers who have arrived in the country since 2021, several hundred of them have disappeared, has indicated that it is “extremely worrying“.
However, he has specified that he has not seen evidence that the children were being kidnapped. In this sense, he has recognized that this situation is “a challenge”, while he has qualified that the local authorities are mobilized to find the disappeared and guarantee their safety.
The Government of Rishi Sunak has received criticism about it. On the one hand, the Interior spokesperson for the Labor Party -in opposition-, Yvette Cooper, has accused the cabinet of “negligence in the line of duty”. Cooper, who has called for “strong measures against gangs”, has criticized that there is “a criminal network involved” in removing children from shelters and that the British Government “was completely failing to stop them”.
For their part, the Greens, who requested the appearance of the minister before Parliament after the publication of an investigation that brought to light the situation of minors in the country, have denounced the “astonishing complacency and incompetence” of the Interior.
However, Conservative MP Tim Loughton has described the administration of “temporary” accommodation for asylum seekers as a “grey area” between the ministerial portfolio and local authorities.
According to the journalistic investigation that has brought the case to light, a worker from the Mitie company, subcontracted by the Ministry of the Interior, and sources from the child protection services reported that the minors were put into cars in the middle of the street. “the minors they are literally kidnapped in front of the building. They disappear and are never found again. The traffickers take them in the middle of the street,” the source explained.
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.