CRC concluding observations 2016, paragraph 77

UN recommendation

Plain English recommendation

Government should:

Consider UN advice on unaccompanied and separated children and:

(a) Collect and publish data on the number of children seeking asylum, including those of disputed age.

(b) Provide independent guardians for all unaccompanied and seperated children across the UK.

(c) Assess age only in cases of serious doubt. Use transparent procedures to do this, and consider the circumstances of the person being assessed.

(d) Stop detaining asylum-seeking and migrant children.

(e) Review the UK’s asylum policy to help reunite unaccompanied and separated children in the UK and abroad with their families.

(f) Do more to allow migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children to access basic services.

(g) Align the Immigration Act (2016) with CRC rights (for example, the right of children in care to leaving care support, and the right to appeal against refusal of stay).

(h) Ensure adequate checks are in place before returning a child. These should include determining their best interests, assessing security risks, tracing families, and putting in place adequate reception and care arrangements.

Original UN recommendation

With reference to its general comment No. 6 (2005) on treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin, the Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Systematically collect and publish disaggregated data on the number of children seeking asylum, including those whose age is disputed;

(b) Establish statutory independent guardians for all unaccompanied and separated children throughout the State party;

(c) Conduct age assessments only in cases of serious doubt through multidisciplinary and transparent procedures, taking into account all aspects, including the psychological and environmental aspects of the person under assessment;

(d) Cease the detention of asylum-seeking and migrant children;

(e) Review its asylum policy in order to facilitate family reunion for unaccompanied and separated refugee children within and outside of the State party, including through implementation of the European Union Dublin III Regulation;

(f) Provide sufficient support to migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children to access basic services;

(g) Review the Immigration Act (2016) in order to ensure its compatibility with the Convention;

(h) Ensure that children are returned only where there are adequate safeguards, including a formal best-interests determination, effective family tracing, including individual risk and security assessments, and appropriate reception and care arrangements.”

Date of UN examination


UN article number

10 (family reunification), 22 (refugee children), 37 (detention)

Last updated on 08/10/2019