06:34 GMT27 January 2020
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    Unaccompanied migrant children in the United Kingdom are being deprived of legal support against the backdrop of legal aid cuts coupled with the growing administration fees these youngsters have to pay the Home Office for support, The Children's Society charity said in a press release on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The charity said that the situation had deteriorated since April 2013, when the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender Act (LASPO) was introduced, stripping unaccompanied children of legal aid for immigration cases not related to their asylum applications.

    "Vulnerable migrant children who are in the UK alone are facing a punishing combination of cuts to help with legal costs and skyrocketing Home Office fees as they struggle to resolve their complex immigration cases," the press release said commenting on the update to the charity's 2015 report dubbed Cut Off from Justice.

    According to the press release, the number of free legal services available for migrant children without parents has reduced by 50 percent in the last four years.

    The charity added that despite the fact that such children still had the possibility of using the Exceptional Case Funding scheme aimed at support of the most vulnerable people of the society, as legal complications resulted in only 15 applications being filed under the scheme in 2015-2016. This figure is only a fraction of the 2,490 applications received per year before the implementation of the LASPO.

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    aid, migrants, United Kingdom
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