Quakers oppose detention of migrants’ children, and so should a new government

We must not punish the children

Quakers oppose detention of migrants’ children, and so should a new government by Michael Bartlet

Quakers believe in the unique value of every individual. From this follows a sense of equality that animates Quaker thinking today. The right to asylum becomes a legal counterpart to the religious insight of the common humanity of us all.

Refugees are the human face of international injustice. They are the place – in this country – where we see the real impact of inequality: armed conflict, the inability of failed states to provide a secure home for their citizens, and abusive governments. The impact of climate change adds a further dimension in increasing pressure on land and resources. That is why migration policy presents such a difficult problem. It is easier to close our eyes and ears to the victims of injustice abroad than acknowledge its wounded presence at our door. Continue reading “Quakers oppose detention of migrants’ children, and so should a new government”

Quakers call for end to detention of child immigrants

Christians join forces to urge change to government practice of imprisoning children
Quakers in Britain have joined a call on the UK government to ‘bring an immediate end to the unnecessary and inhumane practice of imprisoning children, babies and young people in immigration removal centres’.

The demand was made in a letter published in the Daily Telegraph today and was signed by Susan Seymour, clerk of Meeting for Sufferings (a decision-making body of Quakers in Britain). The letter was written in response to the children’s commissioner report on children detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, which was published last week. Last year, a report by NHS paediatricians and psychologists, ‘Lorek et al’, reported in the international peer-reviewed journal, Child Abuse & Neglect, (October 2009) that children locked up at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre were ‘clearly vulnerable, marginalised, and at risk of mental and physical harm as a result of state sanctioned neglect.’

The doctors recorded children’s ‘sexualised behaviour’, older children’s tendency to wet their beds and soil their pants, the ‘increased fear due to being suddenly placed in a facility resembling a prison’, the ‘abrupt loss of home, school, friends and all that was familiar to them.’ Continue reading “Quakers call for end to detention of child immigrants”

Minute from Meeting for Sufferings 5 December 2009

quaker_home_themeMeeting for Sufferings – December 2009
At a Meeting for Sufferings held in London 5 December

2009S/09/12/7: Minutes & Correspondence
i Area Meeting Minutes
a) Bristol AM: Colnbrook Detention Centre
Further to our minute S/09/04/8c), we return to minute 27/09 of Bristol Area Meeting held 19 February 2009 concerning Colnbrook Detention Centre (paper S/09/04/mc i b).

b) Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network
Sheila Mosley of Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network, has introduced the minutes from the QARN meeting held 17 October 2009 (paper S/09/12/ mc i b), and has summarised QARN’s views on the priorities for action especially on the detention of children and indefinite detention.

We would like to support greater awareness-raising among Friends about the issues facing asylum-seekers. QARN membership is open to all and they are willing to provide speakers for meetings. We are encouraged to take action individually and as meetings to give practical help to asylum-seekers and to support campaigns such as Outcry on their behalf. We would also like to make some kind of public statement on detention and ask the Recording Clerk to report on this to us early in 2010.