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October 30, 2023

Child asylum seekers in UK forced to share hotel rooms with adults

  • It comes after the Home Office’s new hotel “maximisation” programme begins doubling the capacity of refugee hotels by putting two strangers in roomsspaces that were previously single occupancy.
  • The Refugee Council has warned that misclassification of child refugees is exposing them to serious safeguarding risks.
  • The Guardian interviewed seven young asylum seekers in Yorkshire, all of whom stated they were 16 or 17 on arrival in the UK, but all said they were wrongly classified as adults by officials and given ages between 22 and 26.
  • Refugee Council staff interviewed them also, and verified the identity documents provided, have errors.
  • Suella Braverman has spoken of her determination to crack down on adults posing as children when they enter the UK.
  • Refugee charities have pointed out that there is little to be gained by being classified as a child in terms of the likelihood of an asylum application being approved.
  • The Refugee Council said in 2021, its age assessment project worked with 233 young people whose age had initially been determined by the Home Office as “certainly” adult, only 14 of whom were subsequently found to be adults, with 94% of cases being overturned.
  • For more, please visit The Guardian website.

CCV church leaders resign amid spiritual abuse probe

  • Senior pastors of a large County Londonderry church have resigned amid a church-led investigation into allegations including “spiritual abuse” and “narcissistic behaviour”.
  • A statement read out at Causeway Coast Vineyard (CCV) on Sunday said that Neil and Janet Young’s future as pastors was “untenable”.
  • The Youngs have said they “no longer support” the ongoing investigation.
  • The allegations fundamentally relate to Alan Scott, who was a senior pastor at CCV for almost two decades until June 2017.
  • Neil Young previously apologised for any actions that caused pain.
  • The findings from the investigation are due to be published by the Church on Sunday 5th November.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

‘Our beautiful boy drank himself to death because of paedophile NI teacher’

  • The parents of a man who drank himself to death have spoken about how their son was tortured by the abuse he suffered at the hands of his sports coach.
  • His parents never suspected anything at the time and trusted the coach completely.
  • The man can now be named as Darren Maher, who endured abuse from his sports coach Mr Sharkey from the age of 12.
  • Mr Sharkey is now in prison, after admitting abusing three boys over a ten-year period while employed as a teacher in a Coleraine school.
  • The Department of Education (DoE) confirmed Mr Sharkey was employed as a teacher for 16 years, but it had “no records” relating to complaints.
  • The Education Authority said safeguarding concerns are “thoroughly investigated”.
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Telegraph website.