All children should come under single departmental remit

Children who commit crime and children of refugee and asylum seekers should fall under the remit of the Department for Education and Skills and not the Home Office, says The Children's Society.

The charity says that Children's Minister Margaret Hodge should have responsibility for all children, whether they have broken the law or are applying for asylum.

"You can't have a minister for some children but not others," said Sharon Moore, youth justice programme manager at the Children's Society. "Criminal children are also troubled children and should be treated as such."

The Queen's Speech today is expected to include a proposal to take children of failed asylum seekers into care if their parents refuse a flight home.

The charity believes that while these children remain under Home Office jurisdiction, they are victims of the Government's punitive policies on refugees and crimes and are not treated as children who deserve protection.

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