London – CAGE is demanding through an FOI request, that the Minister for Children and Families, Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Local Government  and other relevant bodies release details of the number, gender, age, ethnicity and religion of children removed from their families due to concerns of “extremism”.

Former head of Counter Terrorism Policing Mark Rowley claimed that up to 100 children have been ‘safeguarded through the family courts’ and that 50 children have already been placed in foster care.

CAGE has raised concerns and provided evidence in our latest report that families separated by PREVENT based on concerns of “extremism” have been evaluated using the unscientific and unreliable ERG22+ method (also known as VAF).

In 2016, in a separate report, CAGE raised concerns about the employment of the ERG22+. We showed why the method was unreliable, to the extent that its own authors called its principles “working hypotheses” that could in no way predict risk. Our concerns were echoed by over 150 academics and professionals across different sectors.

We have also seen that in cases involving wardship of children, secret evidence has also been used. This means that parents are placed in the terrible position of being unable to see or challenge the evidence being held against them, while their children are under threat of being removed.

Publishing the data on the children removed from their families through PREVENT, is the first step in achieving accountability for these abuses.

Asim Qureshi, research director of CAGE, said:

“So far, we’ve been examining publicly available resources to try to follow this trend and uncover details, however many cases involving wardship of children are shrouded in secrecy. In secret, accountability doesn’t occur and abuse can easily happen. We require these details in order to hold the state to account.”

“It’s truly horrifying that a dubious and unsound framework for evaluating “extremism” is being used to separate families. Not only does the Home Office need to be transparent about the number of impacted families, but it must also immediately cease using that framework.”


CC image courtesy of Unsplash/

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)