Young refugees : a guide to the rights and entitlements of separated refugee children
This guide is about the rights and entitlements of separated refugee and asylum-seeking children in England (often described as unaccompanied children). These are children under 18 years of age who are outside their country and separated from both parents or their legal/customary primary care-giver. The majority of separated children come to the UK alone. However, some children become separated in the UK after informal foster arrangements or family break down.
In this guide immigration status is only included when the type of status, e.g, refugee or asylum-seeker, affects a right or entitlement; otherwise they are referred to as separated children and/or young people. This guide specifically covers the rights and entitlements of separated children and young people in England. However, as immigration and asylum policy are non-devolved, the policy noted in this guide is also applicable in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the provision of support services to unaccompanied children, including social services, health, education and housing, are devolved, and therefore different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This 2005 edition of the guide has been comprehensively updated and expanded from the original version published in 2003. It provides information on the rights and entitlements of separated children, and includes advice to professionals on how to support young people to access them. National contact details of agencies that can support separated children are provided at the end of the guide.