Safe Passage, an organization working to reunite child refugees and their families challenged the ruling by the High Court that the Home Office had acted lawfully when it didn't provide reasons for rejections after obtaining emails between Home Office officials revealing that the government acted on advice from Home Office lawyers not to provide the children with reason to avoid future legal challenges.
Today we beat the Gov. in court. After the 2016 Calais 'Jungle' demolition, they refused to let 530 child refugees reunite with their family without giving them a reason why. They put vulnerable children at-risk. Many of them are now missing or made a dangerous journey alone pic.twitter.com/NBRkpXEq0s— Safe Passage (@safepassageuk) July 31, 2018
In 2016, the Home Office assessed 1,000 child refugees to see whether they had the right to join their families in the UK under the EU's Dublin Regulation rules but refused passage to 530 unaccompanied minors offering no reason why rendering them unable to challenge the legal decision.
In what's been described as a victory for campaigners, the Court of Appeal has found the Home Office "materially misled" a High Court judge at an earlier hearing in which an "incomplete picture" of evidence was offered.
"Tragically, many of the children that were refused by the government with no good reason have since gone missing from French authorities' care, and we have little or no information on their whereabouts or well being," Beth Gardiner-Smith of Safe Passage said in a statement.
"By refusing these application without providing reasons, the Home Office left potentially hundreds of unaccompanied children in Calais with no viable legal avenues to join their families."
"The Home Office knew the risk that these children might lose faith in the legal process and attempt to find their own way to their families. But it withheld the information anyway," says Beth Gardiner-Smith.
The Court of Appeal has found that the original ruling in favor of the Secretary of State for the Home Department was wrong, because the judge was given an 'incomplete picture' by the government and 'a great deal of important evidence' was not brought to the attention of the High Court," Safe Passage says in a statement.
We congratulate our friends at @safepassageuk on today's legal victory at the Court of Appeals. We hope this will result in a change of attitude towards child refugees. Read our statement: https://t.co/Sgy9YuIJYn— Citizens UK (@CitizensUK) July 31, 2018