Immigration detainees failed by system

An important new report from Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), A nice judge on a good day: immigration bail and the right to liberty, reveals the systemic failures within the Home Office and the legal system which consign detainees to oblivion for months or years.

Liberty is regularly proclaimed as one of the most important of our fundamental human rights. But the right to liberty does not appear to be taken so seriously for those without British passports. This casual attitude towards the liberty of foreigners is manifested by the refusal by successive governments over the past forty years to legislate for a maximum period of immigration detention, and the failure to ensure other safeguards, such as automatic judicial oversight of detention and access to legal representation. There are few votes in reform of immigration detention, and the attitude seems to be that those whose right to be in the country is in question have no right to liberty. Continue reading

This was state-sponsored cruelty last year. It still is

Nick Clegg’s passionate attack on the detention of children in immigration centres is not reflected by his government in action

When David Cameron declared that his government would “end the incarceration of children for immigration purposes once and for all”, those familiar with the horror of it were cautiously optimistic. That cautious optimism is now tempered with anxiety that his passion for radical reform of this grotesque abuse of human rights is on the wane. The emerging picture is at best confusing, at worst ominous.

Read more : 
Melanie McFadyean
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 16 September 2010

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/sep/16/nick-clegg-immigration-detention-children-yarls-wood

OutCry! campaign – Latest news

As you will have seen, the immigration detention of children continues to be in the news so we wanted to update you on what has been happening.

In the same week that The Guardian reported the government plans to dilute its pledge to end the immigration detention of children, Medical Justice released a report documenting further the damaging effects of the practice. Evidence from 141 cases over a period of six years showed that just over half the children experienced psychological distress and displayed symptoms such as bedwetting, heightened anxiety, food refusal and self-harm, including three girls who tried to take their own lives. Additionally, 92 children suffered physical health problems (e.g. fever, abdominal pain, coughing blood), which were either caused or exacerbated by their detention. Fifty of these children did not receive adequate healthcare or treatment for these problems. Continue reading

The Liberal Democrats must fight to salvage their promise to end the detention of children for immigration purposes

By Clare Sambrook

Ask Boy A what he is scared of and he says dogs, strangers and policemen. He is scared to go outside and play with friends. At night he wets his bed. He cannot sleep without his mother. He is nine years old. [p59-60]

At their autumn conference this weekend [18 to 22nd SEPT] Liberal Democrats wanting to rescue their end child detention pledge from Home Office sabotage will find ammunition in a chilling new report from Medical Justice.

Boy A is one of 141 children in the report that takes its title — ‘State Sponsored Cruelty’ — from Nick Clegg’s pre-election definition of the detention policy. [p5] Almost half the children were born in Britain, and 62 per cent of all of them were released from detention back into the UK, raising the question, why on earth were they locked up in the first place? Continue reading

State Sponsored Cruelty – Children in Immigration Detention – Medical Justice report

Dossier of medical evidence backs Clegg’s claim: child detention is ‘state sponsored cruelty’

UK Borders Agency defy Clegg and continue immigration detention of children

Nick Clegg branded the immigration detention of children as ‘state sponsored cruelty’.

On 21st July 2010 Nick Clegg said that Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre would close .  The next day the UK Borders Agency confirmed that Yarl’s Wood would close for the detention of children .Despite Nick Clegg’s announcement, UKBA have detained children at Yarl’s Wood as recently as Monday.Today Medical Justice publishes its report “‘State Sponsored Cruelty’: Children in immigration detention”, presenting the key findings from the UK’s first large scale investigation into the harms caused by detaining children for immigration purposes.“The fact that UKBA is still detaining children at Yarl’s Wood despite announcements to the contrary raises serious questions about the consistency between the will of government and the actions of UKBA. The government must now show it is in control of UKBA. It must order and ensure the release of any detained children today and stop what the Deputy Prime Minister correctly refers to as ‘state sponsored cruelty’. The dossier of evidence we are publishing brings to light the extent to which detaining children cases harm, suffering, and anguish. Children have attempted to end their own lives, and have been left seriously physically and psychologically damaged ”.Jon Burnett, Medical Justice, author of “‘State Sponsored Cruelty’: Children in immigration detention” Continue reading

Manchester – A City of Sanctuary ? Public Meeting

City of Sanctuary is a movement of local people and community groups across the UK . We want our towns and cities to welcome and include people seeking sanctuary from war or persecution. Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary in 2007 with the support of over 100 community groups and the City Council, and Swansea was second in 2010. Now there are groups all over the UK working towards recognition as Towns and Cities of Sanctuary.

At this event, Tiffy Allen, National Co-ordinator of the City of Sanctuary movement, will explain how the movement is shaping public debate and local action in other cities, and there will be opportunity to discuss how this might be useful to communities in the Manchester area. Continue reading