Hundreds of children brought to Britain as unaccompanied asylum seekers have disappeared since arriving in the country. A freedom of information request by charity Ecpat UK has revealed Hillingdon and Croydon have some of the highest numbers of young people missing in the country.
Hillingdon and Croydon Council both argue the figures do not paint an accurate picture due to the disproportionately high number of asylum seeking children in both boroughs, compared to the rest of the country.
The Department for Education, which is responsible for the welfare of under 18s in care, says: "We know trafficked and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are especially vulnerable. That's why we have commissioned specialist training for those caring for them, committed to an independent advocate in each area to help champion their rights and outlined clear plans for a new government strategy to look at their particular needs, including reviewing the accommodation available."