Claire Sambroook roundup re: children in detention

Guardian : “Lib Dems are keeping their promises on child detention” By Tom Brake MP (Lib Dem) – 16/11/10
“You reported that “Damian Green, the immigration minister, said during the Conservative conference last month that the practice would be ended by December”. Green has indeed stated that he would like to see the end of child detention this year. But this aim should be seen as a source of optimism, rather than an opportunity to criticise the Liberal Democrats. … further context may be added by including the number of children in immigration detention centres right now, which is zero. … We recognise that, above moral arguments, there is good reason to be concerned about the potential implications for the health of detained children, as has been illustrated by medical reports such as that recently produced by Medical Justice.” Read the article .
(ECDN have offered Guardian rebuttal of Brake)

Liberal Conspiracy : “Phil Woolas authorised use of force to deport immigrant children” – 05/11/10
“When in government, Woolas authorised security guards employed by private contractors Serco and G4S to use “physical control in care (PCC)” techniques to remove people resisting deportation. Not only did that include mothers with mental health problems, but children under the age of 18.” See the article on the Liberal Conspiracy website, including documents obtained by FOI to authorise use of force against 4 children – here .

Guardian : “Plans to end detention of children in immigration removal centres delayed” – 08/11/10
“Home Office confirms new delay in implementation of key government pledge and says practice of detaining children will continue until March at the earliest … “We are not fixing a date before we have an alternative process in place because that could jeopardise the integrity of our border control and the welfare of children,” said a UKBA spokeswoman.” Read the article .

Guardian : “Home Office delays child migrant detention pledge” – 08/11/10
“Nick Clegg faces fresh embarrassment as officials admit controversial practice will not now end until next March” Read the article .

Guardian Letter : Royal Colleges call for the end of detention of children – 10/11/10
“The Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists, Paediatrics and Child Health, and General Practitioners are sorely disappointed that the Home Office has postponed its promise to end the detention of children in immigration removal centres until March 2011 (Pledge to end child migrant detention delayed, 9 November).” Read the letter .

Guardian Letter from 11 peers : “Child detention – we are still waiting” – 12/11/10
“Six months ago today the coalition government promised to end detention of children for immigration purposes. Yet children are still being held in detention, despite clear evidence that this is harmful. We call on the government to fulfil the promise that it made to end the detention of children without further delay and to develop a more humane system for the treatment of families and children who are subject to immigration control.” Read the letter .

Guardian : ” Peers call for children to be released from immigration centres” – 12/11/10
“Letter to Guardian says there is ‘clear evidence that this is harmful’ as government delays after pledge to end practice” Read the letter .

Diane Abbott MP : press release on decision to continue detention of children” – 10/11/10
“Home Office confirm detention will continue, despite Lib Dems declaring it a ‘moral outrage’ Diane said: “Nick Clegg openly said in July that he believed detaining children was a ‘moral outrage’ and would close family wards, but it seems his Conservative colleagues at the Home Office are happy for detention of young innocents to continue until March next year.” Read the press release .

New Statesman : “Child detention could be supervised by “family panels”” – 09/11/10
“Lord Ramsbotham, a member of an independent group set up to find alternatives to detaining children, says panels including health professionals and charity workers could identify the most humane ways to remove young people from the UK. “Family panels would decide exactly how removals would take place,” he told a special Westminster meeting set up by detainees’ organisations and children’s charities. “The way the actual removal is handled wouldn’t just be handed over to the authorities. There would be civilised oversight.” Lord Ramsbotham said children might have to be detained for short periods immediately prior to deportation but said “common sense” options should replace the current policy of holding them in detention centres, though he did not give details of the proposed new arrangements.” Read the article .

Radio 4 Today programme : “‘Tired of waiting’ for end of child detention” – 12/11/10
“A group of peers is calling on the government to honour its commitment to end child detention in immigration centres. Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Miller outlines her concerns.” Listen to the interview .

BBC : “Asylum pilot scheme removes one family” – 02/11/10
“A pilot involving the deportation of asylum-seeking families without putting children in detention has seen just one family leave the UK so far.” Read the article.

New Statesman : “Child detention – the answer is justice, not tougher measures” – 02/11/10
“The answer is not imprisonment, or rushed removals to potentially dangerous situations, but an asylum process that, from start to finish, adheres to basic standards of justice.” Read the article .

IRR : “Ending children’s detention: hope deferred” – 11/11/10
“The government would look at all other ways round the problem of getting rid of these families, including the detention of a parent where necessary to ‘secure the attendance for removal of the whole family’. Never mind that the trauma of separation from a parent is no less than the trauma of detention. In fact, immigration minister Damian Green told parliament on 17 June, the review might just conclude that it was necessary to detain children after all – for the shortest possible period, of course, just until removal.” Where had we heard those words before? Could it have been … the previous, Labour immigration minister? Or the one before? Or the one before that? ” Read the article .

Zimbabwe Guardian : “UK deportations: Order served on a 4 year old” – 15/11/10
“THE British Home Office has sent a letter to a four-year-old boy informing him that he and his mother are facing deportation back to Zimbabwe.” Read the article .

PQ – Andrew Smith : how many children detained in each month of 2010 – 27/10/10
How many (a) children and (b) families have been held in (i) immigration detention, (ii) short-term holding units and (iii) mother-and-baby units in prisons in each month of 2010 to date. Read the answers .