Following an application for judicial review of the treatment of unaccompanied children made on the 9th June 2023 by ECPAT UK, the charity has been granted permission.

At a Case Management Hearing on 7 July 2023 Justice Thomas Linden KC ordered a joint hearing for claims made by ECPAT UK against Kent County Council and the Secretary of State alongside claims made by Brighton and Hove County Council (BHCC) and Kent County Council (KCC) against the Secretary of State for the Home Department.  The claim from BHCC was brought following the Home Secretary’s plans to recommence use of hotels to directly accommodate children.

 Justice Linden ruled that the ECPAT UK claim is to be the lead case in the joined hearing and recognised that ECPAT UK should lead because they represent the interests of children at the heart of this situation.

The case will be heard in Administrative Court 1, Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st July.


Notes to editors:

  1. ECPAT UK press contact: [email protected] and 020 7607 2136
  2. Charities wrote to Ministers to highlight these concerns as early as 2021
  3. Previous ECPAT UK report from June 2022 highlighted these concerns
  4. Charities letter to the Prime Minster in January 2023
  5. Children’s charities including the NSPCC and Barnardos wrote a joint statement calling for care for every child in need under the Children Act 1989 in March 2023
  6. Recent judgement in the Family Court Division of the High Court confirms that unaccompanied children have the same rights under Children Act 1989 and that the Home Office practice does not change local authority duties towards them