Q: Jenny (Facebook) – I thought the dispatches programme was really moving, I agreed with the woman who said that the treatment of refugees make you embarrassed to be British. I don’t understand – didn’t the government say that they were going to end child detention, why hasn’t it happened? What can we do to remind them they pledged this?
A: Francesco – Hi Jenny. Yes, the government announced that immigration detention for children was going to end in May and lots of us working in this area got very excited about that, but it hasn’t actually happened yet. What the government has decided to do is try out other ways of forcibly removing families without using detention. We are so frustrated with this as the focus is still all on the end of the process; what needs to happen is for the entire process to be looked at – not just the end. So, we will carry on saying to the government: stop detaining children while you look for other ways to carry out your removals, as you are continuing to harm children like Mershad and that’s just not acceptable.
There’s lots of work been done on this by us and other organisations. Our policy team contributed to the government review on child detention earlier this year see www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/policy/responses/2010/detention-of-children and continue to support Outcry!, the campaign to end immigration detention of children. At the Refugee Council we continue to campaign on this issue – if you’d like to be involved you can sign up to receive our campaign actions – just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking to subscribe.