Channel 4 Dispatches Request for Help

Request for help by a documentary Film maker


From Sue Clayton, film-maker.

Dear Friends

I am an academic at RHUL University of London and a documentary film maker.

I've spent nearly 10 years working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking chilfren, both as a mentor and in a number of projects which give these young people a voice.  I am also running a series of seminars with Garden Court Chambers on this topic. Now I have got Channel 4 Dispatches interested in making a programme on this.  This is a massive opportunity to highlight this issue and would be of great benefit to the whole community that works with these young people.  I need your help to back up the research I have already and get as many examples of the below as possible, as fast as possible.

C4 are specifically interested in where the Home Office may be in breach of its own guidelines, or be acting unlawfully, as well as unethically with regard to young people who came here alone as minors.

I have come across several cases recently of the following and am looking for more, or similar situations:

1. Age disputed young people being detained, when there was good evidence that they were still minors.

2. Young people - who are still minors or post-18 UASCs-  being held for long periods of time in detention.

3. Post 18 young people in detention and facing removal, who have not had their statutory appeal at 18.

4. Young people being removed without the statutory period of notice- particularly those in detention who should be given working five days' notice, being picked up on a Friday and removed after the weekend, making it very difficult for them to access legal advice.

5. Young people being removed in error- eg wrong name , or to wrong country.

6. Young people being removed against the instructions of a court decision or injunction.

7. Anyone who was removed as above, the outcome - were they then brought back or not brought back to the UK?

  8. Evidence from in-country of how removed young people have coped on return.

9. Issues of harsh treatment or unlawful treatment either in the 'snatch', detention or removal by Home Office or G4S or other private security officers.

  10. Anything else in this area that you in the legal field think I should be focussing on- lack of legal representation since cuts in Legal Aid; biased HO country reports , or other…

I'm focussing on these issues as they apply to young people  but we will also refer in the Dispatches to the wider context, so any cases are good!

I'd be incredibly grateful if you could treat this with urgency and pass it to anyone or any shared websites you think appropriate.

Anyone is free to contact me either by email or on 07944 956 516.  I guarantee to protect anonymity and confidentiality  where requested - as first I need to prove the scale and frequency of the issues above, so its vital to get a full picture.

After that I'd look to highlight individual cases but would only do so with full consent from relevant parties, and working with them to present information in an appropriate way. protecting privacy when needed.

Please help if you possibly can!

All best  wishes

Sue Clayton