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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Legal Aid for child migrants to be reinstated following five year legal battle

Written by Dan O'Donoghue

Legal aid for unaccompanied child migrants has been reinstated following a five-year legal battle between the Government and the Children's Society.

Justice Minister Lucy Frazer confirmed that the scope of legal aid will be extended to cover immigration matters for unaccompanied and separated children following a judicial review.

Campaigners hailed the move, saying it would "protect some of the most marginalised" in society.

Ms Frazer, in a written ministerial statement, said: "Following a judicial review brought by the Children's Society, we have examined both the evidence presented as part of the case and our data on applications for funding.

"Based on the distinct nature of the cohort in question, and of our data regarding them, I have decided to bring these cases into the scope of legal aid to ensure access to justice."

Matthew Reed (pictured), chief executive of the Children's Society, said: "This is an important change in policy which will go a long way to protecting some of the most marginalised and vulnerable young people in our communities.

"Legal aid is absolutely vital for ensuring that children can access justice.

"For children who are subject to immigration control and who are in this country on their own, it is an absolute lifeline.

"The Government should be commended for this significant change for children and young people."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) The Children's Society.