"The UK Border Agency is to set up a £4m "reintegration centre" in Afganistan so that it can start deporting unaccompanied child asylum seekers to Kabul from Britain, the Guardian can disclose.
The terms of the official tender* for the centre show that immigration officials initially hope to forcibly return 12 boys a month aged under 18 to Afghanistan and provide "reintegration assistance" for 120 adults a month.
Home Office figures show there are more than 4,200 unaccompanied child asylum seekers in Britain, with most being supported in local authority social services homes. Those from Afghanistan are the largest group. Of the 400 minors claiming asylum in the first three months of this year, almost half were Afghans.
A decision to start deporting Afghan child asylum seekers who arrive in Britain alone would amount to a major shift in policy. Up until now, child protection issues and an undertaking that failed child asylum seekers would be returned only if adequate reception and care arrangements were in place for them on arrival have blocked returns.
The British plans form part of a wider European move to plan the return of unaccompanied migrant children to Afghanistan. Norway has also announced plans to open a reception centre in Kabul. Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands are also reported to be preparing to return Afghan children to Kabul."
* meaning that private companies now have the opportunity to bid for the contract to do this work, for profit. nice.