Boost for Nigerian boy’s bid to stay in UK
A YOUNG Nigerian’s attempt to stay in Scotland has been boosted by a judge’s ruling that social workers were wrong to decide he was an adult and not a child.
The judgment also makes Angus Council liable to provide help and support to the youth for several years. Had he been declared over 18, as the council wanted, it would have had no duty to assist him.
Lord Stewart said in spite of evidence the youth, referred to as ALA, shaved and used a high-pitched voice, he had been persuaded he should be treated as a child. He believed he was about 16 and a half. The Court of Session in Edinburgh was told having the status of a child could be a huge advantage in applying to remain in the United Kingdom.
The government had a policy of granting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children discretionary leave to remain until they were adults. By that time, they were likely to have acquired rights under the European Convention on Human Rights that would prevent their removal.
ALA and ISA, believed to be his young brother, arrived with an adult at Heathrow on a flight from Nigeria in 2008, and, after a time in London, were moved to Dundee to stay with their “aunties”. They were enrolled at primary school as their ages, according to birth certificates they had, were 11 and nine. But passports gave them older ages.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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