Human Trafficking & Exploitation

Humanitarian Protection

EU Exit


Hong Kong Welcome Hub

Scotland's Demographics

No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)

Gypsy/Traveller Work

Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children

Unaccompanied young people can claim asylum when reaching the UK and are entitled to support from local authorities as Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC). These children and young people under 18 become the responsibility of the local authority where they present on arrival to the country which means the majority are looked after by the local authorities that are close to major points of entry into the UK. There are however spontaneous arrivals of UASC within Scotland who are supported by Scottish local authorities.

In order to ease pressure on those local authorities with the most arrivals, the UK Government mandated National Transfer Scheme (NTS)– a protocol which enables safe transfer of young people from the receiving local authorities to other regions in across the UK with significantly smaller number of UASC and young people in care. The NTS was mandated on 23 of November 2021 and all Scottish local authorities are playing their part.  

The Immigration Act 2016 included a provision to resettle unaccompanied children from within Europe, specifically France, Greece and Italy. This is what is known as the Dubs Amendment to the Act. The UK Government announced that the numbers arriving under this Amendment would be capped at 480, this was achieved in 2020 and this route of transfer is now unavailable. Scottish local authorities supported a number of children and young people by this route who have been integrated into local communities across Scotland. It is possible that a replacement to this route of transfer will be agreed with EU countries following the UK exit from the EU. 

 The New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement outlines number of changes to the immigration system that will affect children and young people seeking asylum in the UK. Part of the plan is an introduction of National Age Assessment Board (NAAB) and scientific methods for assessing the age of asylum seekers. COSLA continues work on a political and officer level to influence development of the bill and to raise concerns around the impacts the New Immigration Bill will have on Scottish Local Authorities and young people in their care.