Doctors’ petition : “Stop the Administrative Detention of Children and Families” – ask your doctor to sign it

mj1Doctors’ petition : “Stop the Administrative Detention of Children and Families”

This doctors’ petition is being publicly launched today. The last doctors’ petition of that Medical Justice co-ordinated attracted over 700 doctors’ signatures.  This petition is expected to get more signatures.  Please circulate and ask doctors to sign.  Signature so far include ;
* Lord Alderdice
* Iona Heath, President, Royal College of General Practitioners
* Sir Iain Chalmers
* Professor Cornelius Katona Consultant Psychiatrist
* Dr Jonathan Fluxman, GP
* Dr Nick Lessof, Consultant Paediatrician
* Dr Frank Arnold, Clinical Director, Medical Justice

Write letters: The Guardian/ The Independent/ BBC / The Times coverage of today’s Medical Justice report

guardian_logo1Guardian : “Move children out of migrant centres, say medical experts”
“Detaining children in immigration centres puts them at risk of mental health problems, self-harm and even suicide, a coalition of royal medical colleges warns the government today. The full article.
Email a Letter to the Guardian :
Guardian Comment is Free : “Free the Yarl’s Wood child detainees” by Jon Burnett of Medical Justice
“A select group of dignitaries was invited to “celebrate the achievements” of a new school inside Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire on 20 November. According to the invitation, those in attendance would be given the opportunity to “enjoy a taste of some of the creativity and vibrancy which is very much part of our community”. Like most other educational environments in the UK, the Yarl’s Wood school had begun a new term in September. One big difference, however, is that the children in this school are all held against their will, for the purposes of immigration and asylum policy, having committed no crime. The full article. Continue reading “Write letters: The Guardian/ The Independent/ BBC / The Times coverage of today’s Medical Justice report”

Intercollegiate Briefing Paper: Significant Harm – the effects of administrative detention on the health of children, young people and their families

Intercollegiate Briefing Paper – effects of detention on children – 10/12/09
Written by Emma Ginn
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College pf Psychiatrists
Faculty of Public Health

mj1Intercollegiate Briefing Paper: Significant Harm – the effects of administrative detention on the health of children, young people and their families

‘Any detention of children for administrative rather than criminal purposes causes unnecessary harm and further blights already disturbed young lives.  Such practices reflect badly on all of us.’
Dr Iona Heath, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners

This briefing from the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Psychiatrists and the UK Faculty of Public Health describes the significant harms to the physical and mental health of children and young people in the UK who are subjected to administrative immigration detention.  It argues that such detention is unacceptable and should cease without delay.  Other countries have developed viable alternatives and the UK should now follow suit.  Meanwhile a set of specific recommendations is outlined to minimise the damage caused by the detention of children.

Download the document

see also

Bah humbug! St Nick prevented from giving gifts to detained children

st_nick_yarls_woodmain_exact-dec-2009St Nick tries to deliver gifts at Yarl’s Wood

By Ekklesia staff writers, 4 Dec 2009

The police were called on the patron saint of children and the imprisoned today, as he tried to deliver Christmas gifts to children at a detention centre.

The inspiration for the modern day Father Christmas, St Nicholas of Myra, was turned away at the gate of the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire when he tried to deliver presents to the children locked up inside for administrative purposes. Continue reading “Bah humbug! St Nick prevented from giving gifts to detained children”

QARN supports the Outcry! campaign

quaker_home_themeEvery year around 2,000 children in the UK are locked up in immigration detention.

QARN is supporting OutCry!, the campaign to end detention of children and their families for immigration purposes. We have some suggestions about how Quakers can support this campaign as individuals and through their meetings – page coming soon.

OutCry!: The Children’s Society and Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) launched this campaign in November 2008 at the House of Commons, and over the next three years will be raising awareness of the fact that children in UK are detained here in the UK Borders Agency detention estate, in our name. Full report here


quaker_home_themeWe support the OutCry! campaign against detention of children.

You could:

Make a donation to OutCry!
Write to your MP about children in detention, and about indefinite detention – there are ideas about what you could concentrate on here:
Write to The Friend to open other Quaker hearts to children in detention
Would your family, or your Meeting be interested in linking to a family in detention? Contact us
Make a link to OutCry! from your Meeting’s website
Sign up to the campaign yourself

Organise an activity for Refugee Week on the theme of detention

Join QARN:

Membership of QARN is open to all Quakers with an interest. It is an email group, and everyone is welcome to our meetings that are held approximately every 3 months in Manchester, London or the Midlands (we are always open to offers of new venues).

Decisions will be made through a process of discernment. We will often circulate ideas through the email group, and significant decisions will usually be made at the meetings.

If you are interested to join the email group, please email Miranda Girdlestone at BYM with details of your name and the Meeting you attend. For historic reasons the email group title is QRAG (Quaker Refugees and Asylum Group)

Survey of Friends’ asylum and refugee work in Britain Yearly Meeting 2007

quaker_home_themeIn June 2007, the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network decided to conduct a survey of Quaker Meetings to try to build a picture of the work done by Friends in support of asylum-seekers and refugees. All PMs were sent a copy of a questionnaire and, as well as this, many meetings were sent e-mails. The letter pages of The Friend were also used to encourage responses.

A total of 116 meetings replied, of which 32 reported no activity. Of those 32 meetings, several gave as a reason that there were no asylum-seekers or refugees in their area, or that their meetings were small and elderly (e.g. “We have five members between 85-104 years”). Several expressed their support for the work being done on asylum issues. Several meetings also hoped that there could be a more coordinated Quaker response. Continue reading “Survey of Friends’ asylum and refugee work in Britain Yearly Meeting 2007”

Detention of Children Motion, 19/10/09 Motion lodged before the Scottish Parliament on 19 October 2009 by Christina McKelvie (SNP)

scottish-parliamentMotion lodged before the Scottish Parliament on 19 October 2009 by Christina McKelvie (SNP) on problems suffered by asylum seeking children being held in detention centres.

The full text of the motion reads:

That the Parliament is disturbed to note the findings of a team of paediatricians and psychologists published in Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, which found that 73% of the children held in Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre whom they examined had developed clinically significant emotional, mental and physical health problems since being detained, including weight loss, sleep problems, bedwetting and speech regression; believes that these findings vindicate the Scottish Government’s insistence on pursuing alternatives to detention for asylum-seeker families with children; hopes that the community-based pilot launched jointly by the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and the UK Border Agency in May 2009 means that no more asylum-seeking children will be detained in Scotland; further notes, however, that, according to Home Office figures, 470 children have been detained this year in England and Wales, and calls on the UK Government to follow the Scottish Government’s example in introducing community-based alternatives to detention throughout the UK and end the practice of detaining children as soon as possible.

All current motions before the Scottish Parliament can be found on the Scottish Parliament website.

One More Card

one-cardTake action to end the detention of children this Christmas

I saw bad things happening in prison and there was too much crying.

It gave me terrible headaches and I felt sad.

Dominic Mwafulirwa Junior, detained in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre in 2009

Each family sends an average of 76 Christmas cards each year. We want you to send One More Card to help stop the detention of children in the UK. Send an extra Christmas card to Immigration Minister, Phil Woolas MP, and let him know that your Christmas wish is for him to stop the practice of detaining the children of people seeking sanctuary in Britain. Continue reading “One More Card”

Immigration: Detention and Deportation


House of Lords / 4 Nov 2009 : Column 317

Tabled By Lord HyltonTo ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will establish a limit for the length of detention under immigration and asylum law, reduce the number of detainees, and prevent deportation breaching Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Lord Hylton: My Lords, I start from the proposition that it is wrong to lock up parents and children who have committed no crimes in this country. To do so when they have little or no legal advice, and for periods of unknown length, is doubly bad. Those affected are mainly asylum applicants who have not succeeded in being recognised as refugees. They also include people who have overstayed their leave to remain. All of them may already have been here for years and have married here and produced children. All may have very real fears of what might happen to them if they are removed to their countries of origin, whatever the Government may say about memoranda of understanding. Continue reading “Immigration: Detention and Deportation”