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Tower Hamlets home to only 20 of London’s 1,500 young asylum seekers

PUBLISHED: 13:24 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:29 07 November 2017

Child in the former Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Child in the former Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tower Hamlets looks after just one per cent of unaccompanied child asylum seekers in London, figures show.

The borough provided sanctuary to only 20 lone child asylum seekers five months after the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp was torn down, according to the Department for Education.

But Tower Hamlets Council insists they looked after 25 children when surveyed.

“This is a moving situation and we have previously had much higher numbers,” said a spokesman, though annual surveys since 2013 record no more than 20 unaccompanied young asylum seekers.

The borough, he added, “remains absolutely committed” to supporting these vulnerable kids.

There are now 1,540 such children in the capital - up 75 per cent over the period.

Nearly a third of them are housed in Croydon and Hillingdon, home to the Home Office’s asylum screening unit and Heathrow Airport, respectively.

Tower Hamlets took in “a significant number of young people at very short notice” after the Jungle closed, the spokesman said.

“Many of our previously unaccompanied child asylum seekers have reached the age of 18 or over and remain supported through our leaving care services until the age of 25. We currently support 65 such young people.”

Earlier this year the Government scrapped plans to offer 3,000 child refugees safe passage to Britain under the Dubs Amendment, having taken in just 350.

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