In a landmark settlement, the Congolese family have been awarded £150,000, believed to be the biggest payout over the unlawful detention of child refugees seeking asylum in Britain.

Lawyers and immigration campaigners said the settlement could lead to dozens more compensation claims being brought by refugee families with young children who have been detained or are still locked up in the UK asylum system. It is estimated that every year the Home Office authorises the detention of 2,000 child immigrants. One firm of lawyers said it was already preparing three separate compensation cases where families had been unlawfully detained.

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