Coroner calls for action in Dunkirk unaccompanied child migrant death

07.07.17 | |

At the inquest into the death of Mohammed Hassan, a 17 year old unaccompanied minor, the Coroner has called for action to prevent future deaths of child refugees.

 

Mohammed Hassan died as a result of clandestine travel from Dunkirk in April 2016.  He travelled on a lorry to the UK and was crushed under the lorry when it stopped in Oxford.  He had been detained four days previously by the UK Border Force in Dunkirk, who discharge UK immigration powers on French territory, having been found concealed in a lorry with five adults.  Documents produced as a result of an order made by the Coroner showed that Mohammed's detention in Dunkirk was not authorised in accordance with operating procedures.

 

The Oxfordshire Coroner will make a regulation 28 report regarding the prevention of future deaths in respect of Mohammed's detention.  The Coroner will report on the practice of UK immigration officers not asking unaccompanied minors who arrive in the UK control zone whether they wish to claim asylum, something that a child would be asked if found in the UK.  The Coroner expressed concern that the reason the question is not asked is that it would then trigger duties to assist in the asylum process.  The Coroner will also suggest that a leaflet be produced in foreign language translation that informs minors as to how they can procure legal advice and French social services' support.

 

Kate Beattie acted for Mohammed's family with Danny Friedman QC of Matrix Chambers, instructed by Jane Ryan of Bhatt Murphy solicitors.

 

Further news coverage

 

The Times

 

The Guardian

 

BBC

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