200 Asylum-Seeking Children Have Gone Missing, UK minister Says

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One girl and at least 13 children under 16 among those missing after being placed in hotels run by Home Office, official tells House of Lords

Two hundred asylum-seeking children who were placed in hotels run by the Home Office have gone missing, a minister has admitted.

Speaking at the House of Lords, Simon Murray said many of the missing children were later tracked down and found, The Guardian reported.

The disclosure came after The Observer, The Guardian’s sister daily, reported that a whistleblower from a hostel in the seaside city of Brighton, run by the Home Office, claimed that some children had been abducted outside the hotel and forced into cars

"The Home Office have no power to detain unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in these hotels and we do know that some of them go missing,” he added, adding that many “are subsequently traced."

Answering a question from Liberal Democrat peer Paul Scriven, Murray added that one girl and at least 13 under-16s were among those missing after being placed in hotels run by the Home Office.

He said that 88% of the 200 missing children were Albanian nationals, adding that it would be wrong "to make generalizations regarding the reason” the minors go missing.

According to The Guardian, nongovernmental organizations have repeatedly raised concerns over children that go missing from accommodation and have offered to help the government keep them safe, but the Home Office has turned down these offers.