Let’s end child detention at the Release Carnival,

Our friends at SOAS Detainee Support are hosting the Release Carnival in London’s Torrington Square on Saturday 5th June from 12 noon, calling on the government to stop detaining families now.
http://releasecarnival.wordpress.com

When the new government said it would ‘end the detention of children for immigration purposes’ some people proclaimed victory.

But as the families locked up in Yarl’s Wood reminded everyone in a letter to Nick Clegg (published in last Sunday’s Observer), ‘we are still here in the detention centre’. Continue reading

OutCry! campaign – It’s not over yet!

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It’s not over yet, and we need your help.

Take action – email the Minister and join the Release Carnival!

The last few days have seen lots of news about the immigration detention of children. The new Government made a very welcome commitment last week that they would “end the detention of children for immigration purposes”. This was followed shortly afterwards by a statement from Damian Green, the new Immigration Minister, setting out their plans for “a comprehensive review” and his hopes to have “plans agreed within the next few months”. It soon became clear that the Government intended to continue detaining children while their review took place – on Monday a mother and her eight-month old baby were detained at Dungavel detention centre in Scotland. But then almost immediately, following pressure from the Scottish Government, the UK Border Agency announced that no families would be detained in Scotland. Instead, families would be transported to Yarl’s Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire… Continue reading

Refugee Week activities 2010 – Leicester, Oxford

Leicester:

5th and 6th June at Riverside Festival, Bede Island, Leicester – look for the Quakers stall where there will be an activity around children seeking asylum. Cost: Free. Sat 1pm-8pm; Sun 11am-4pm. Leicester’s Riverside Festival takes place in the city’s Bede Park. In addition to water-related events such as boat trips and illuminated boat parades, there is a mix of live music, stalls and a focus on activities for children. Continue reading

ECDN campaigns for immediate release of children in detention

Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the paediatrician who, as the first Children’s Commissioner for England, did more than any single person to expose the arrest and detention of innocent children, the injustices and sheer horror of their lived experiences, said:
‘ I am looking for two things: A demonstration of intent by releasing those currently held, not least because absconding is not an issue. Within weeks rather than months produce robust proposals. Detention is inhumane and shocking and there is no place for it in a country that claims to be civilised.’

Sir AL QUOTE IN FULL:
Sir Al Aynsley-Green, the first Children’s Commissioner for England:

‘I welcome the focus on detention so soon in the new government. It must have a chance to produce an action plan. But the review should not be an excuse for prevarication. The evidence of harm to children is incontrovertible. And officials have had at least five years to think of alternatives during the pressure that I have applied as Children’s Commissioner. I am looking for two things: A demonstration of intent by releasing those currently held, not least because absconding is not an issue. Within weeks rather than months produce robust proposals. Detention is inhumane and shocking and there is no place for it in a country that claims to be civilised.’ Continue reading

Questions about child detention at Serco’s annual meeting in London

At Serco’s annual meeting in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall this morning Dr Frank Arnold, torture scars expert and Serco shareholder asked the following question:

‘Serco is expanding its activities in Healthcare to include NHS hospital management, polyclinics and GP services. At the same time, the company is receiving serious criticism and reputational harm because of its role in the incarceration of children at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre under contract to the UK Borders Agency. As the Chief Inspector of Prisons and Children’s Champion have publicly insisted, it is not possible to lock up children (who have done no wrong)  without harming them,. Will the board agree to take legal steps to obtain release from its contracts with UK BA over administrative detention to improve the company’s reputation?’ Continue reading

International Children’s Day/ Release Carnival – 5 June 2010

In the week of International Children’s Day, on the 5th of June 2010, SOAS Detainee Support (SDS) will host RELEASE CARNIVAL

“We were sleeping and the officer came. It was scary and Mum was crying.”

“They broke our house.”

“They were bashing and kicking the door.”

“It’s not nice going to the toilet in front of an officer.” Continue reading

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