Asylum: Mothers’ & Children’s Right to Family Reunion, online petition

To: UK Government

• Many people seeking asylum in the UK are mothers fleeing war, persecution, rape and other torture.

• To protect themselves and their children, mothers are often forced to leave their children behind –usually they don’t know where they are going or how they will survive.

• Mothers may lose contact with children back home or hear of them unprotected and suffering, and can do little to prevent it.

• It can take many years for an asylum claim to be settled; meanwhile: children suffer the torture of being deprived of their mother’s love and care, left destitute, at risk of sexual and other violence; mothers are treated as single people and the pain of separation and of trying to be a carer long distance is invisible and unrecognised.

• When mothers win the right to stay, most are not automatically granted the right of family reunion. If children turn 18 while their mother’s application is being considered they lose the right to join their mother.

* We are a mothers’ campaign, so we speak particularly of mothers, the primary carers in every society, but we know that the problems and heartbreak we describe are often true of fathers, grandparents & other carers. Continue reading “Asylum: Mothers’ & Children’s Right to Family Reunion, online petition”



[2009] UKSC 7
On appeal from: [2009] EWCA Civ 119

Date heard: 30/07/2009
Judgment given on: 26/11/2009

Lord Hope, Deputy President
Lord Scott
Lord Rodger; Lady Hale; Lord Brown

The Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) BA (Nigeria) (FC); (2) PE (Cameroon) (FC)


On appeal from: [2009] EWCA Civ 119 Continue reading “BA (Nigeria) (FC); (2) PE (Cameroon) (FC) – THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM”

Message your newspaper


Over the coming months we will be working with other organisations and individuals who share our view that the detention of children must end. We will be pressing the government to change its policy so that children are no longer locked up in detention centres.

Join the campaign…

If, like us, you think detaining children is unacceptable please add your voice to the campaign.

We will keep you updated with campaign news and ideas of how you can take action to give some of the most vulnerable children in the UK their childhood back.

Children in detention: ‘it is like a prison’

Both The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees work directly with children and families in immigration detention, providing much-needed legal and welfare support. As a result, we have heard first hand the appalling effects of detention on children. Below is just a small selection of quotes from those who have experienced detention. As the OutCry! campaign progresses, we will be working hard to put the voices of children and families at the front and centre of our efforts to persuade the Government to end this shameful practice.

“I am Sophie, I am 7 years old. I go to school at St Mark’s School. I like my school and my teacher and all my friends. I miss them a lot. I miss my house. I don’t like this place where I am so afraid. I don’t want to stay here. I don’t want to go to prison. I am afraid of this people with white shirt they are not nice. I want to return in my house.”

(7 year old) Continue reading “Children in detention: ‘it is like a prison’”

OutCry! campaign update – help us to end the immigration detention of children

We hope that 2010 is treating you well so far. There’s lots to tell you about the OutCry! campaign and the momentum that is now building to end the immigration detention of children. And so much of this momentum is down to all of you who have helped take action on this issue, whether by sending a Christmas card to the Immigration Minister, spreading the word about OutCry!, signing petitions, contacting your MPs, gaining media coverage of the issue in your local area – the list goes on! So a huge thank you and well done to every individual, organisation or campaigning group who has raised the issue. Read on to find out what you can do next to help the campaign, especially using our easy online tool to email your local newspaper editor. Continue reading “OutCry! campaign update – help us to end the immigration detention of children”

Muskhadzhiyeva and others v. Belgium (application no. 41442/07)

ecthrPress release issued by the Registrar Chamber judgment1

Muskhadzhiyeva and others v. Belgium (application no. 41442/07)


Violation of Articles 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) (second, third, fourth and fifth applicants)

No violation of Articles 3 and 5 § 1 (first applicant)

No violation of Article 5 § 4 (all applicants) of the European Convention on Human Rights Continue reading “Muskhadzhiyeva and others v. Belgium (application no. 41442/07)”

“This judgement is not the beginning of the end of family detention in Belgium but the end itself”


“This judgement is not the beginning of the end of family detention in Belgium but the end itself”

On Tuesday 19 January, Belgium was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg for the detention of a Chechen family of four children and their mother in a closed reception centre. Having fled from Chechnya to Poland, they eventually arrived in Belgium on 11 October 2006, where they sought asylum. However, in accordance with the Dublin regulation, the Belgian authorities served them with a deportation order to Poland and placed in a closed transit centre. The ECtHR ruled that the detention of the children in this closed centre constitutes a violation of Article 3 of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and awarded the applicants 17, 000 euros damages.

ECRE interviewed Mr. Alexis Deswaef, lawyer of the Muskhadzhiyeva family.

What implications will this judgement have for the detention of families? Continue reading ““This judgement is not the beginning of the end of family detention in Belgium but the end itself””

Migration and Sanctuary – questions for prospective MPs


The right to asylum is a sign of our common humanity. Both practically and theologically we are responsible for one another. Our mutual responsibility cannot stop at national boundaries. Claims for asylum form a small part of the total annual migration to the UK. Both planned immigration (via work permits, study visits etc) and migration in response to persecution have contributed hugely to the richness of culture and diversity in the UK. Immigration is, however, a sensitive political issue. There is a current debate about an appropriate and sustainable level of population growth. Some people fear that changes to culture and society will mean that their traditional way of life is threatened. These fears have been exploited by extremist political parties.

There were 25,000 asylum applications in 2008, down from 84,000 in 2002. Continue reading “Migration and Sanctuary – questions for prospective MPs”