Foreword and introduction
As Children’s Commissioner I have a statutory duty to promote awareness of the views and interests of children, particularly regarding their physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing, their education, training and recreation and protecting them from harm and neglect.
Each year some two thousand children are detained for administrative purposes for immigration control, the majority being held in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire. I have visited this facility three times during the last four years because of my profound concern over the treatment and management of children in that location. My second visit in May 2008 led to a report, The Arrest and Detention of Children Subject to Immigration Control, published in May 2009. In my report I argued that the administrative detention of children for immigration control must end, but being pragmatic and recognising that the process was unlikely to end immediately, I called upon Government to ensure that detention genuinely occurs only as a last resort and for the shortest possible time following the application of a fair, transparent decision-making process. Continue reading “The Children’s Commissioner for England’s follow up report to: The arrest and detention of children subject to immigration control February 2010”