Gordon Brown was last night accused of ‘moral cowardice’ for failing to scrap a controversial asylum policy that will see hundreds of innocent children spend Christmas behind bars.

gordon-brownn an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg urged him to bring an immediate end to the policy of locking up the children of families who are facing possible deportation.

Mr Clegg said the policy ‘shamed Britain’ and did nothing to tackle the problem of illegal asylum seekers.

Ministers refuse to say how many children are locked up at the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire, but it is believed to affect between one and two thousand children a year.

Campaigners say they have no access to the centre’s living accommodation to monitor conditions, which are said to be ‘prison-like’. Mr Clegg added: ‘This is a dark secret that needs to be brought into the light. Continue reading “Gordon Brown was last night accused of ‘moral cowardice’ for failing to scrap a controversial asylum policy that will see hundreds of innocent children spend Christmas behind bars.”

JUDICIAL REVIEW AND INJUNCTIONS This document replaces Chapter 60 of Enforcement Instructions.

ukbalogoExtracts here regarding children and families.  This has effect from 11 January 2010.

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Section 3: Where standard notification may not required when setting removal directions

3.1 Exceptions to standard notification of removal
Below we detail the following exceptions to standard notification of removal:
•Certain medically documented cases;
•Certain cases involving children
•Certain cases where swift removal is required because of the best interests of another;
•Certain cases where swift removal is required to maintain order in removal centres;
•Where the removee consents to early removal;
•Port cases, where removal occurs within 7 days of refusal. Continue reading “JUDICIAL REVIEW AND INJUNCTIONS This document replaces Chapter 60 of Enforcement Instructions.”

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

http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/32564.html

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

Summary
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 http://www.qarn.org.uk/homepage/category/what-can-you-do/

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
http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/10752

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”

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

parliament_logo

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”