Ending children’s detention: hope deferred

By Frances Webber 11 November 2010

The announcement that children will continue to be detained until at least March 2011 reveals the coalition’s true priorities.

It was supposed to be the face of the compassionate, caring coalition, defying cynical critics and overriding entrenched bureaucratic cruelty to do the right thing. ‘We will end the immigration detention of children’, the bold announcement said, one of the earliest of the new administration.

But within weeks it was apparent that the new government was not making radical departures from the old. First of all, the announcement was, and remained, in the future tense – ‘we will end’, not ‘we have ended’ this barbaric practice, so harmful to children that it creates depression and attempted suicide in ten-year-olds. It was not possible to put the new policy into practice, we were told, until alternative ways had been found of securing the removal of families with children, who were likely to abscond otherwise. In other words, doing the right thing was not unconditional. Continue reading “Ending children’s detention: hope deferred”

Section 4 Azure cards – ‘shocking’ – join the campaign

Dear Friend

Your campaigning helped to get rid of the shocking practice of providing asylum support through vouchers. But now these vouchers have been replaced with a payment card that restricts where, when and what people can buy.

We need your help to call for cash support for asylum seekers, to allow them to live in dignity.

What Parliament can do
The Home Office is currently carrying out an Asylum Improvement Project, examining ways to make the asylum system more efficient. The government should use this opportunity to end the inhumane system of denying people access to cash support, amending legislation to allow the Azure payment card to be replaced by cash support for all destitute asylum seekers until they return to their country of origin.
We want the government to act now to reverse this unjust policy towards some of the UK’s most vulnerable people. It is in nobody’s interest that asylum seekers are further marginalised, experience ill health and hunger, and are even forced into criminal activity as a result of extreme poverty while waiting to return to their country of origin.
We need parliamentary support to make the government act:

Please write to the Minister responsible Damian Green MP, calling for the Azure payment card to be abolished and for legislation to be amended to enable the provision of cash support for all destitute refused asylum seekers until they are given status in the UK or return to their country of origin.

Please sign the parliamentary declaration (attached) in support of the campaign to give asylum seekers permission to work. Members of parliament can sign up to the declaration by emailing mike.kaye@amnesty.org.uk
For more information on the issues in this briefing, please contact parliamentary@refugeecouncil.org.uk

Continue reading “Section 4 Azure cards – ‘shocking’ – join the campaign”