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Asylum seekers

The London Borough of Hillingdon has a statutory duty to make provision for any child in their area who is assessed to be a child in need.

The Asylum Service has the same statutory responsibilities to children who are Accommodated under S20 of the Children Act or are Care Leavers.

The Hillingdon Council has a statutory duty to make provision for any child in their area who is assessed to be a child in need. All unaccompanied minors (UASC and non UASC) presenting at Heathrow will normally be referred to social services for assessment and support by virtue of having claimed asylum or due to safeguarding issues.

UASC fall into the category of children in need. Our statutory duties were further defined by the Judicial Review in 2003 (Hillingdon Judgement) which required that all UASC should be Accommodated S20 Children Act 1989. As a result the majority of UASC become entitled to a service as a Care Leaver under the Children's (Leaving Care) Act 2000. This entitles all eligible children to support up to age 21 and possibly 24.


Safeguarding of children arriving at Heathrow is a high priority for Hillingdon Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) and the Child Trafficking Sub Group.

Staff in the Asylum Service work very closely with partners including the police, immigration services and colleagues in our referral and assessment team to safeguard young people who may be victims of trafficking and/or other forms of exploitation.

The LSCB has adopted the All London Procedures on missing children, and developed a policy for better identifying children who are missing from education.

Hillingdon local authority have been working closely with the UK Border Agency (UKBA), who joined the Safeguarding Board, and policing agencies to disrupt the trafficking of children through Heathrow Airport, and put in place a number of strategies to discourage young people from leaving the care of Hillingdon children's services. This resulted in both a significant reduction in the numbers arriving at Heathrow and the numbers of young people who have gone missing. The Asylum Service has contributed to the development of the Trafficking Toolkit and is currently involved in piloting it's use.

Leaflets have been translated into the top ten languages spoken and given to young people who may be at risk of child trafficking on arrival at the airport.

Hillingdon's LSCB have delivered extensive multi-agency training on child trafficking, missing children procedures and private fostering. The courses provide practical information about the risks young people face, identification in relation to behaviour, how to over come mistrust from the young person, assessment of risk and planning. This training is sponsored by the trafficking and runaways sub-group. In the current year, an advanced course in child trafficking is being delivered to build up the levels of expertise within the practitioner group and managers working with this group of vulnerable children. It is expected that this training will further strengthen the inter-agency safeguarding work at the airport terminals.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 08 Dec 2017 at 12:16