Around two-thirds of the ‘child’ migrants screened by Home Office officials have been found to be adults, figures reveal.
A shocking 65 per cent of all the ‘children’ were found to be over 18 according to Home Office figures collected in the year to September 2015.
In that period, 590 asylum applicants had their age disputed and of those, 574 recorded as having an age assessment. Of the 574 refugees checked, 371 were found to be adults.
Migrants from Calais began to arrive in the UK earlier this week, despite the government promising not to accept them from safe countries such as France, after campaigners took advantage of a new loophole in migration law.
Campaigners promised those accepted would be the most vulnerable and needy in the camp. However, so far images (above) of the migrants appear to show groups of fully grown adults, who are exclusively men.
David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth, told BBC Radio 4 this morning the British public “were given the impression that they were very young children who were desperate to get into the UK, and that doesn’t seem to have happened.”
He explained that when he visited Calais the migrants were “virtually all young men and very few young children” and said: “There’s no good being naive about this. It’s all well and good [pop singer] Lily Allen turning up with tears in her eyes, but we need to be quite hard-nosed here”.
didn't see any children in the camp, just 000s young men & activists offering advice what to say to get into UK https://t.co/vvNzl08vqI
— David Davies MP (@DavidTCDavies) October 18, 2016
Currently, the Homes Office only uses the “physical appearance” or “demeanour” of migrants to estimate their age.
Mr. Davies argued that unless the government did more establish their age it would “undermine public trust” and could put British children at risk by housing them with the adult migrants when the arrive.
“I spoke to someone in an asylum centre in the UK recently, who said he’s had people with gray hair who will claim to be 17 – not that anyone believes it… but they do it because it takes that little bit longer to sort the case and the less chance there is they’re going to get removed,” he added.
Mr. Davies is proposing using dental scans to estimate the age of the migrants, which he says are already used in 16 out of 22 European Union countries and have been employed in America for around 20 years.
However, pro-migrant campaigns have said the tests violate ‘human rights’ and the British Dental Association said such checks would be unethical.
Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, told the BBC it was “an outrageous demand, which would further violate the human rights of vulnerable refugees”.
“They have suffered insanitary and dangerous conditions and should have been admitted long ago,” she said. “This is a vile, reactionary clamour. It distracts from the government’s responsibilities to these refugees, which it has largely neglected to date.”