Unaccompanied young refugees ARE children, confirm Home Office

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Unaccompanied young refugees ARE children, confirm Home Office

An adolescent Afghani migrant waves from a van as he departs with six others (Picture: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol)

Home Office officials have confirmed that young migrants coming over to the UK have been thoroughly assessed to ensure they’re the age they claim to be.

The announcement follows concerns from aid workers that vulnerable children may be left stranded in the Calais Jungle because ‘adult migrants are reportedly lying about their age’.

Migrants and migrant-supporting association members look out from a watchtower at the Female interpreter is ‘raped by knife-wielding migrants’ in the Jungle refugee camp

However, background checks by the Home Office, including age assessments, interviews and credible documentary evidence, have confirmed that this in not the case.

Teenagers aged 14 to 17-years-old are currently undergoing a process to reconnect them with their family members in Britain.

However after the first coach arrived yesterday, critics claimed the children ‘looked older than the ages that the Government claims they are’.

Conservative MP David Davies wrote on Twitter: ‘These don’t look like ‘children’ to me. I hope British hospitality is not being abused.’

Two members a group of unaccompanied minors (R and 2nd R) from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais stand outside an immigration centre after being processed after their arrival in Britain, in Croydon, south London, October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Two members a group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais stand outside an immigration centre after being processed (Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

UK Border Force staff escorts one of the first group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais to be brought to Britain after he was processed at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

UK Border Force staff escorts one of the first group of unaccompanied minors (Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

UK Border Force staff escort one of a group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais as they arrive at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London, Britain October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Migrants have started arriving at an immigration centre in Croydon (Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

However, officials insist that the young migrants have had document checks.

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘We work closely with the French Authorities to ensure that the cases applying to come to the UK qualify under Dublin. Initial interviews are conducted to gather information on identity, medical conditions and age among other criteria.

‘On age we use a number of determining factors.

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‘These are that the individual has provided credible and clear documentary evidence proving their claimed age, that the individual has a physical appearance and demeanour which does not strongly suggest they are significantly over 18 years of age.

UK Border Force staff escort one of a group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais as they arrive at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London, Britain October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Since yesterday, two coach loads of ‘children’ have arrived from the Jungle camp (Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

UK Border Force staff escort a group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais as they arrive at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London, Britain October 18, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

One unnamed aid worker is concerned that adults may be lying about their age (Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholl)

Families prepare to board a coach at the jungle migrant camp in Calais, France, to start a new life in southern France as plans are made to demolish the camp over the next few weeks. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 18, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Calais Jungle. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Families prepare to board a coach at the jungle migrant camp to start a new life as plans are made to demolish the camp (Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

One of the first group of unaccompanied minors from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais to be brought to Britain waves at a relative after he was processed at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

An unaccompanied minor waves as he gets off a coach (Picture: Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

‘And that the individual has been subject to a Merton compliant age assessment by a local authority and been assessed to be 18 years of age or over, which must be signed off by two social workers.

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‘We also ensure that we meet our safeguarding obligations as first responders who identify potential child trafficking and child slavery victims in the UK.’

Since yesterday, two coach loads of ‘children’ have arrived from the Jungle camp, and a total of 300 are expected in the UK by the end of the week.

The Calais Jungle is scheduled to be demolished later this month.