HL Deb 04 November 2004 vol 666 cc45-6WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the number of asylum-seeking children detained in the United Kingdom has increased since December 2003; and, if so, by how much. [HL4342]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

Figures on the number of children detained in the United Kingdom solely under the Immigration Acts have been available on a quarterly basis since December 2003. However, the count of children detained on 27 December excluded minors detained with their families under non-suspensive appeal provisions at Oakington reception centre. These children were included in the published statistics for March and June 2004. For this reason the figures are not comparable.

However the counts of children detained as at the end of March and June 2004 were carried out on the same basis, and can be compared. As at 27 March 2004, 30 people (all of whom were asylum detainees) who were detained solely under Immigration Act powers were recorded as being under 18 years old. As at 26 June 2004 this figure was 60. It is important to remember, however, that these figures are snapshots and that the total number of children detained with their families will fluctuate from day to day, depending on the number of families detained and their composition.

Information on the number of people (including those under 18) detained solely under Immigration Act powers is published on a quarterly basis and the figures for March and June 2004 are already in the public domain. Information for those in detention at 25 September 2004 is due to be published on 16 November 2004 on the Home Office website: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigrationl.html

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