Since 2010, the UK has granted protection to around 41,000 asylum seekers and refugees under the age of 18

3 February 2020
What was claimed

The UK has taken in 41,000 unaccompanied children since 2010.

Our verdict

Since 2010, the UK has granted protection to 41,396 asylum seekers and refugees under the age of 18. However, at least 40% of these young people were accompanied by parents or carers.

“Not only have we taken 41,000 unaccompanied children since 2010…”

Boris Johnson, 29 January 2020

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson claimed that the UK has taken in 41,000 unaccompanied children since 2010. This claim was in response to a question from the SNP MP Carol Monaghan about unaccompanied child refugees.

Home Office data shows that 41,396 asylum seekers and refugees under the age of 18 were granted leave to remain in the UK between 2010 and 2019.

But not all of these were unaccompanied.

11,338 (27%) were classified by the Home Office as an unaccompanied asylum seeking child while 16,671 (40%) were accompanied.

The remaining 13,387 young people granted leave to remain were part of resettlement schemes. We cannot tell from these statistics whether these young people were accompanied by a parent or carer, or if they were unaccompanied.

The Home Office confirmed to us that 41,000 was the figure for the total number of children granted protection since 2010.

Update 3 February 2020

Updated following confirmation of the statistics from the Home Office.

Correction 6 February 2020

We corrected this article to clarify that the 41,000 figure included both asylum seekers and refugees under the age of 18.

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