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Freedom of Information Request - initial age assessment asylum-seekers

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To whom it may concern,

Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, I would like to request the following information:

1. Please confirm the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children that were accommodated by your local authority whose ages were accepted without further enquiries, excluding National Transfer Scheme (NTS) cases, in the following periods: January 2020-January 2021, January 2021- January 2022, January 2022-present;
2. Please confirm the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children that were accommodated by your local authority pending a full age assessment, excluding NTS cases, in the following periods: January 2020-January 2021, January 2021- January 2022, January 2022-present;
3. Please confirm the number of young asylum seekers claiming to be under the age of 18 who were referred to your local authority and were found to be clearly and obviously over the age of 18 and denied support following initial inquiries in the following periods: January 2020-January 2021, January 2021- January 2022, January 2022-present. Please confirm, in how many of these cases, your local authority decided to accommodate the young people following legal challenges and/or reconsideration requests in respect of the initial inquiries.

I would like you to provide this information in the following format: email.

If this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.
If any of this information is already in the public domain, it would be helpful if you could direct me to it, with page references and URLs if necessary.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at [email address] should any aspect of my request require clarification.

Kind Regards,
Sabrina Galella

Jacqueline Keachie, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam

I acknowledge receipt of your email which is receiving attention.

I shall contact you again when I am in a position to respond more fully to your request.

Yours faithfully.

Jacqueline Keachie
For Freedom of Information Co-ordinator
North Lanarkshire Council
Contact by email

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Jacqueline Keachie, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Ms. Galella

Request for Information

 

I refer again to your e-mail dated 12 January 2023 seeking information in
relation to unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

 

Having investigated, my response to your three questions is as follows:-

 

Due to the small number of presentations of unaccompanied young people in
North Lanarkshire, this information was not routinely gathered until our
voluntary participation in the National Transfer Scheme began. Therefore,
no data is held prior to July 2021 and in terms of Section 17 of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, I must advise you that the
information requested prior to July 2021 is not held. 

 

Question 1

 

From July 2021 until January 2022, 2 young people and from January 2022
until present – 1 young person.  Where appropriate a brief enquiry was
made on presentation and accommodated without recommendation for age
assessment.

 

Question 2

 

From July 2021 until present, we have not accommodated any young person
pending a full age assessment.

 

Question 3

 

From July 2021 until present, we have not found any young person claiming
to be under 18 and thereafter assessed to be an adult. All have been
accommodated as young people.

 

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the
provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested
information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that
request, can within forty working days require a review of that decision
by writing to the Chief Officer of Legal and Democratic, Civic Centre,
Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1AB.  Accordingly, if you are
dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write to the
Chief Officer of Legal and Democratic.

 

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who
is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section
21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local
authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice -
may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a
decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the
request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt
with in accordance with the Act.  Such an application must be made within
six months of the review decision and be in writing or in another form
which, by reason of it having some permanency is capable of being used for
subsequent reference. The application must state the name of the
applicant, and provide an address for correspondence. The application must
also specify the request for information to which the requirement for
review relates, the matter which gave rise to the applicant’s
dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local authority and the
matter which gives rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the
decision on review by the local authority or the failure of the local
authority to issue such a decision.  The Scottish Information Commissioner
can be contacted as follows:-

 

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrews

KY16  9DS

email: [1][email address]

 

Appeals to the Scottish Information Commissioner can also be made online
via the following link: -

 

[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal

 

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose.  If, however, you
require further information – or I can assist in any other way – please
let me know.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jacqueline Keachie

For Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

North Lanarkshire Council

Contact by email

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sabrina please sign in and let everyone know.