Legal aid vote leaves young people in the lurch

Last week, 274 MPs voted for the Government’s proposed legal aid residence test. That’s 71 more than voted against.

We outlined our views on the residence test last June, when we explained the negative impact this test will have on the human rights of the children and young people we work with.

Dost says:

“We stand by our original response, submitted to the MoJ last June:

Children who are unaccompanied migrants newly arrived to the UK or abandoned in the UK, children who are failed asylum seekers and refugee children who have not resided in the UK for twelve months will be denied access to all forms of legal representation funded by legal aid as they do not meet the residency test criteria

As a result of the changes, many of the children we work closely with will be unable to access legal aid to support them in challenging decisions that effectively obstruct their human rights. We recommend that the government puts children’s rights at the top of the agenda and abandons its plans to introduce this residence test, which we deem to be unethical.”

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