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Lords question local authorities and law enforcement agencies on unaccompanied minors in the EU


Continuing its inquiry into unaccompanied minors in the EU, the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee will speak to representatives from local authorities and the National Crime Agency, tomorrow, Wednesday 13 April.

The Committee will also hear from a representative of the National Policing Lead for Missing Persons.

Unaccompanied minors are migrant children from non-EU countries, who are under 18 and are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The numbers of these particularly vulnerable children 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 hear from Mr Andrew Ireland, Corporate Director of Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, Kent County Council; Dr Paul Chadwick, Head of Looked After Children & Resources, Croydon Borough Council; and Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council and member of the Local Government Association's Asylum, Refugee and Migration Group.

The Committee will explore a number of issues with these witnesses, including:

  • The role of local authorities in addressing the needs of unaccompanied minors in the UK.
  • The adequacy of funding for local authorities, and whether funding is allocated appropriately.
  • The impact of current EU law and policy on local authorities.
  • The disappearance of unaccompanied minors from care in the UK.

Following on, at 11.30am, the Committee will question Inspector Roger Bull, Staff Officer to Chief Constable Mike Veale as National Policing Lead for Missing Persons, Wiltshire Police, and Mr Kenny Dron, Head of UK Liaison Bureau, Europol, National Crime Agency.

The Committee will ask these witnesses about issues including:

  • The different contexts, in which police come into contact with unaccompanied minors.
  • The nature and scope of police training to enable them to deal with unaccompanied minors.
  • How law enforcement authorities cooperate with other agencies.
  • The case for more inter-agency and cross-border cooperation to prevent disappearances and to follow up investigations.

The evidence sessions will take place from 10.30am, on Wednesday 13 April in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

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