Ten children from Eritrea who illegally entered Northern Ireland “cold and hungry” and were travelling without an adult companion.
The children were immediately taken into care in Belfast after authorities were alerted of their presence in the harbour estate area about two weeks ago, Immigration solicitor Barbara Muldoon said .
Muldoon, who works with the Children’s Law Centre, has met some of the children and said they “are coping well under the circumstances”.
“Some of them were extremely hungry, but they are settling in well. They are being well cared for by the (health) trust. So, they’re adjusting,” said Ms Muldoon.
“We would say all of those young people have a right to asylum, refugee status in the UK, and that they should be granted refugee status and their rights should be protected,” she said.
She added the children “should be allowed to live here long term”.
The children have told social services they spent at least 24 hours in a shipping container on the way to Ireland.
It is not known whether the children disembarked in Belfast or Dublin but it is understood they boarded a ferry in Belgium and for how long the children have been travelling but such a journey can take up to two years. Two other children arrived in Northern Ireland in August, BBC reported. (Source: BBC)