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Lords question children's commissioner and government ministers on unaccompanied minors in the EU

On Wednesday 20 April the Minister of State for Immigration and Minister of State for Children and Families will give evidence to the Lords Committee investigating unaccompanied minors in the EU

The Children's Commissioner for England will also give evidence.

The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee will speak to James Brokenshire MP, Edward Timpson MP and Anne Longfield OBE.

The Committee has so far heard that the numbers of unaccompanied minors, migrant children from non-EU countries, who are under 18 and are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, have risen dramatically as the refugee crisis continues to affect the EU.

The Committee's inquiry is looking at a number of areas including the nature and scale of the problems facing unaccompanied minors in the EU, the achievements of the EU Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors and possible options for further cooperation among EU Member States.

At 10.30am, the Committee will take evidence from Mr James Brokenshire MP, Minister for Immigration, Home Office, and Mr Edward Timpson MP, Minister of State for Children and Families, Department for Education.

The Committee will ask these witnesses about issues including:

  • The numbers of unaccompanied minors currently in the UK and their age, gender and nationality;How responsibilities for addressing the needs of unaccompanied minors are divided between Government Departments;
  • Whether unaccompanied minors are being reunited with family members within the UK; and
  • The possibility of a statutory guardianship scheme in the UK.

Then at 11.45am the Committee will hear from Ms Anne Longfield OBE, Children's Commissioner for England.

The Committee will ask Ms Longfield about issues including:

  • The key challenges faced by unaccompanied minors in the UK and the adequacy of the Government's response to these challenges;
  • Further measures needed to address the needs of unaccompanied minors at EU level; and
  • Cross-regional and cross-border cooperation needed to provide advice and assistance to unaccompanied minors.

The evidence sessions will take place from 10.30am, on Wednesday 20 April in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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