End Child Detention Now, the citizens’ campaign working to end the scandal of child detention by the UK immigration authorities, continues to call for an immediate end to child detention and wants confirmation that the “ensured return” procedure does not involve the detention of children under another name.
Esmé Madill, coordinator of End Child Detention Now said
“The evidence of harm caused by detention is overwhelming and there can be no justification for continuing to lock up children. An immigration system which allows the children of asylum seekers to be detained in conditions which would never be accepted for any other children and young people makes a mockery of the principle that every child matters. Children seeking sanctuary in the UK are among the most vulnerable in our communities and yet they are afforded less protection than any other group of children and young people. If the mark of a civilised nation is how it treats the most vulnerable we can hardly claim to be civilised.” Continue reading “END CHILD DETENTION NOW: RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT”
The OutCry! campaign is delighted that Nick Clegg has set out a timetable to end the abhorrent practice of detaining children in immigration centres. We particularly welcome the immediate closure of the family unit at Yarl’s Wood.
The government is to be commended for taking seriously the need to put children’s welfare at the centre of the asylum process. Although we await more detail, the family conferences and the independent family returns panel could be positive developments.
If children’s safeguarding is given top priority and families have enough time to consider their options, these changes should increase communication and trust within the asylum and immigration process. Continue reading “Outcry! comment on child detention”
FIVE YEARS OF DENIAL: the UK government’s reckless pursuit of a punitive asylum policy – never mind the evidence of harm.
Download the report here: OurKingdom Dossier 2
The UK government has knowingly harmed between 1000 and 2000 children of asylum-seekers every year, sending dawn hit squads to raid family homes, search children in their beds and lock them up (sometimes for weeks and months) in places known to harm their mental and physical health. All in the name of ‗border control‘, driven by a political desire to look tough on immigration — and executed in venal disregard of a startling truth that the UK Border Agency let slip in evidence to Parliament last year: absconding is not an issue. (Source: Hansard)
The citizens‘ campaign End Child Detention Now has gathered some of the compelling research that the Home Office has variously ignored, misrepresented and buried these past five years. The research provides irrefutable evidence of damage done to children by detention and by other harmful and state-sanctioned practices.
Some of this research years ago offered viable alternatives to detention that the government chose to ignore, preferring dangerous and punitive practices that made politicians look tough — at the expense of children‘s health and sanity. Continue reading “The immediate end of child detention is essential but it is only the first step”
COALITION BROKEN PROMISES: Notwithstanding the government’s promise to end child detention, and immigration minister Damian Green’s promise to have it ended ‘within weeks’ of July, and Green’s promise back in the summer to visit Yarl’s Wood dressed as Santa if children were still being detained this Xmas, children continue to be locked up for immigration purposes. Continue reading “Children in detention – meeting in London Monday 13th December 2010”
Ending the detention of children:
Developing an alternative approach to family returns – Full document here: Alternatives_to_child_detention Dec 2010
• The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government Coalition Agreement (May 2010) included a commitment to end the detention of children for immigration purposes. A review process was established by the Home Office to identify how this commitment would be delivered.
• This paper on alternatives to detention been produced to inform the review process. It draws upon an existing body of research in the UK and internationally to develop an alternative approach which does not rely upon detention to secure family returns.
• It is important to acknowledge the wider context within which the detention of families occurs. Alternatives to detention are meaningful only if they exist within a broader system of decision-making that ensures ongoing and consistent contact is maintained, and where asylum seekers have information about their rights and are aware of their obligations. Continue reading “Alternatives to detention – new research”
Asked by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made regarding the ending of the detention of children of failed asylum seekers.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): My Lords, there has been progress in the pilot studies that the Government have been conducting. We remain determined to end the detention of children for immigration purposes and intend to make a Statement on the subject before the Christmas Recess. As the House will be aware, the number of children in detention for immigration purposes has fallen dramatically-and is now very low-and takes place only for very short periods. There are no children in detention at present. Continue reading “Immigration: Detention of Children”