Monday, 17 October 2011

FOI request shows that children are still being locked up

Rather disturbing figures coming out this morning obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Children's Society.

It shows that 697 under-18s were detained between May and August at the port of Dover and the airports Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

The news will no doubt shock deputy PM Nick Clegg who has called the locking up of children "who were innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever" a moral outrage and it seems that despite pledges from the government to end this process,including the pledge to close the family unit at the Yarl's Wood detention centre,the practice continues.

Shockingly,says the Society, the Home Office is not collecting information on the length of detention or reasons why the children have been detained.

Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: 'We are horrified at the excessive numbers of children being held in the South East and very disappointed that Government has not kept these numbers to a minimum. It is of great concern that this appears to be happening without sufficient monitoring centrally by the Home Office, including why they are being held, their age and critically the length of time that they were held - This raises serious questions about the commitment to end the immigration detention of children.

'We are calling on the Home Office to launch an enquiry in to why excessive numbers of children are being held on entry to the UK and to make sure appropriate measures are in place to meet the welfare needs of what are often extremely vulnerable children.'

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