Home Office must put children first as sex trafficking survivor fears deportation

Deportation fight mum and her little girl
Deportation fight mum and her little girl -Credit:Tony Nicoletti / Daily Record

Nothing symbolises the harsh ­attitude of the Tory Government more than its approach to asylum and immigration.

Ministers have deliberately created a “hostile environment” for people fleeing from persecution and who want a better life. The so-called “go home” vans from a decade ago were a clear attempt at intimidating people at their most ­vulnerable.

The botched policy of sending people to Rwanda is the latest example of the Government’s heartless approach. Our story today about sex-trafficking victim Claudia is a new low for the Government.

Claudia says there is clear evidence police have issued wanted notices for her in her native Cameroon after her father was arrested as a government opponent. She has also been “conclusively” ­designated as a trafficking victim by the Home Office but is worried she will be deported to Rwanda.

This is despite the fact her five-year-old daughter is Scottish and attends school here. She said: “It is terrifying to me that we could be sent to Rwanda or Cameroon, where we would be in serious danger. I just want to raise my child in her home of Scotland.”

Claudia is a victim who should be treated with compassion but instead she lives in fear. The Home Office must rethink its approach in these cases and put the needs of children first.

Deportation in this case would be a disgrace and a stain on the reputation of the UK. Westminster needs a full reset on social and economic policy but the same is true of asylum and ­immigration.

Crude response

The massive Petroineos plant at Grangemouth is one of the UK’s key strategic assets.

So when the owners announced the closure of the on-site oil refinery, UK ministers should have taken the matter seriously. Meeting the workers and listening to their concerns should have been a top priority.

But Derek Thomson from the trade union Unite says Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has snubbed the 500 workers who could lose their jobs. He says the behaviour of the UK Government has been disgraceful.

The UK Government, with its links to big business, should have leverage with Petroineos. This should include meeting the workers and lobbying on their behalf. Their inaction is a shameful ­dereliction of duty.

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