ICIBI invites tenders for a literature review – Deadline 10 February 2017

The Commission

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration invites tenders for a literature review of how the Home Office ensures it acts in the best interests of the child when conducting its immigration, asylum and nationality functions, specifically how it determines, reviews and secures the child’s best interests.

The review should cover published research, and rulings from relevant legal cases from the period January 2013 to December 2016.


The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance of functions relating to immigration, asylum, nationality and customs by the Home Secretary and by officials and others exercising those functions on her behalf.  The ICIBI’s responsibilities are set out in statute (s.48-56 of the UK Border Act 2007).

The ICIBI does not investigate individual cases, but may consider or draw conclusions about an individual case for the purpose of, or in the context of, considering a general issue.

The ICIBI’s purpose is to help improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of the Home Office’s border and immigration functions through unfettered, impartial and evidence-based inspection. The ICIBI sends his completed inspection reports to the Home Secretary for her to lay in Parliament, at which point they are published on the ICIBI’s website along with the Home Secretary’s formal response to the report and its recommendations.

Inspection of the treatment of children

The ICIBI’s priorities are detailed in a rolling three-year inspection plan, which takes account of identified or perceived areas of risk and of the views and priorities of the Home Office and of a broad range of stakeholders.

The 2016/17 – 2018/19 Plan has five themes, one of which is ‘Providing a service (processing applicants, claimants and customers)’. Under this theme, one of the areas for inspection is ‘Identification and treatment of vulnerable individuals’, which includes children.

The Plan notes that the ICIBI will carry out an inspection of the ‘treatment of children across the border and immigration systems (including the exercise of S. 55 safeguarding duties)’. The proposed literature review will form a key part of the scoping and initial research for the planned inspection.

The literature review

The literature review should:

  • identify sources and provide references
  • highlight any recent studies and summarise their conclusions
  • highlight any gaps in knowledge or areas requiring further research

It should include a short introduction with an outline of the review, including the main topics covered, the order of the arguments, and a brief rationale for this. It should be written in a formal, academic style – clear and concise, avoiding colloquialisms and emotive language, factual and respectful of others’ opinions.

While the reviewer should use their experience and judgment regarding what to include, the review should aim to answer the following questions:

  • what evidence is there that children’s rights under UK and EU law, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, are understood and respected by the Home Office?
  • what evidence, if any, is there that the rights of children have been disregarded by the Home Office?
  • what evidence is there of a child-sensitive approach to the processing of asylum claims, including from unaccompanied minors?
  • what does the evidence show about the Home Office’s approach to family unification?


The completed literature review needs to reach the ICIBI by 31 March 2017.  Electronic submission is acceptable.

The reviewer will be invited to present and discuss their review with the ICIBI in early April 2017.


The fee for this work is fixed at £3,000.


The literature review should be submitted to the ICIBI in confidence. The decision to publish all or parts of the review, or to reference the review or quote from it in future inspection reports, will rest solely with the Independent Chief Inspector.

Skills Required

Applicants should have a post-graduate degree in a relevant social science (politics, law, development studies, anthropology, etc.) and be familiar with children’s rights and asylum/immigration procedures in the UK.

How to apply

Researchers interested in undertaking this literature review should submit a one-page letter setting out their qualifications and relevant expertise, together with a sample of their work (not more than 30 pages), to chiefinspector@icinspector.gsi.gov.uk by the 10th February 2017.

The successful applicant will be invited to discuss the commission with the ICIBI before they begin work.

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