Children’s Commissioner to visit migrant centre over safeguarding concerns

A migrant processing centre in Kent will be visited by the Children’s Commissioner over concerns raised about safeguarding children at the site.

Dame Rachel de Souza is expected to visit the former military base in Manston this week, according to her office.

The facility (pictured) is used to process new arrivals of people who have entered the UK by boat crossing the English Channel.

Overcrowding with “unacceptable conditions” had previously been flagged by inspectors in October 2022, while the Home Office has said significant improvements have been made since that period.

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner is a national public body tasked with promoting and protecting the rights of children in the UK, including unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

The visit to Manston comes as migrants who crossed the English Channel arrived in the UK on Monday, the first since the Labour Government was elected, with children among those being seen carried ashore in Dover, Kent.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The treatment of unaccompanied children is taken very seriously by the Home Office and they are not routinely taken to Manston.

“Those who arrive with their families are accommodated separately from single adult males, and the health and well-being of all arrivals is taken seriously at every stage of the process.”

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