The British government has deported three times more teenagers to their crisis-hit home countries than previously announced.
According to a report published by The Independent, latest statistics show that a total of 445 asylum seekers and refugees were sent back to their crisis-stricken homelands as soon as they turned 18.
The revelation comes as the British government previously said that only 151 child asylum seekers had been deported from the United Kingdom.
Charities and politicians have criticized the British Home Office over its decisions to send back the young people.
“These children grow up here; often achieve well in school and then find themselves confused, frightened and abandoned by the country they thought would protect them, when they turn 18,” Anna Musgrave, the advocacy manager at a charity, said.
“The government knows all too well that the asylum system is letting young people down and needs urgent reform to make sure that everyone gets a fair hearing,” she said.
Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats political party, termed the deportation of the teenagers to war-torn countries “callous,” stating that they should be given a chance to continue.
“Throwing 18-years-olds out of the country and back to places that they fled in terror exposes an immigration system that is self-defeating and utterly callous,” he said.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last year that some of the 18-year-olds had been deported back to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Libya.
An average of 100 Afghans are being sent back to their country on a yearly basis, according to The Independent.
Earlier reports said a total of 4,000 child asylum seekers were sent away from United Kingdom between 2007 and 2015.
Britain’s Home Office alleges that the deported young people “no longer need our protection.”
Europe is facing an unprecedented influx of refugees, who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.
Many blame major European powers for the unprecedented exodus, saying their policies have led to a surge in terrorism and war in those regions, forcing more people to flee their homes.